The event was held simultaneously at the Giant Supermarket in California, Food Lion in Charlotte Hall, and McKay's in Leonardtown. Residents dropped off non-perishable food items such as canned fruits/vegetables, pasta sauces, dried beans, coffee, tea, bottle water, canned meats, baby food, crackers, peanut butter and may other items.
The goal for this year's food drive was 3,000 pounds. When everything was totaled up the final count stood at nearly two and a half tons (4,900 pounds). This far exceeded the previous record of nearly 2,900 pounds collected back in 2009. The total also includes 600 pounds donated by St. Mary's County Government employees.
"We want to take the opportunity to thank and congratulate everyone who participated in this year's event for making it the most successful collection effort since the first event held back in December 2005," said George Erichsen, director of St. Mary's County Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPWT). DPWT teamed up with the St. Mary's County Department of Aging and Human Services to sponsor the drive.
Food Lion stepped up with a corporate donation, adding $1,000 worth of food to the collection.
Stuff the Bus is an annual event held to ensure local food pantries are well stocked with food supplies year round. Pantries also serve as an important source of food during the recovery phase of a disaster. Generous giving by St. Mary's County citizens has been a hallmark of the event through the years.
This bus was definitely stuffed with food. (Photo courtesy of St. Mary's Co. Gov.)