Haven Ministries Works with Community Partners to Expand Food Distribution in Northern Queen Anne’s County

Haven Ministries Works with Community Partners to Expand Food Distribution in Northern Queen Anne’s County

Haven Ministries is partnering with The Judy Center/Queen Anne’s County Public Schools and Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center to expand its food distribution in northern Queen Anne’s County, specifically in the Sudlersville area.

The Judy Center, which is a Maryland Food Bank distribution partner, has been working with the Emergency Operations Committee in Queen Anne’s County during the pandemic to reach high food insecurity areas in the county with centralized food distribution at the Sudlersville Elementary and Middle Schools and Church Hill Elementary School. Haven Ministries was asked to join forces with partnering agencies and organizations in the northern portion of Queen Anne’s County to assist in the streamlining of food distribution services.  A pop-up drive-through food pantry at Sudlersville Park in August reached over 125 families with over 17,000 pounds of food.

“This has been a broad-based community effort. It has a lot of moving parts, but Haven Ministries has a smooth system to handle it all,” comments Elizabeth Miller, LCSW-C, Queen Anne’s County Public Schools Program Coordinator. “As we move forward with this location, it will provide for more efficient, effective and equitable food distribution meeting the unmet needs of individuals and families in the northern part of the county.”

According to Krista Pettit, Executive Director of Haven Ministries, the organization is looking to create a more permanent food pantry in Sudlersville in the future to offer individuals greater food options and to minimize food waste.

Haven Ministries is also partnering with Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center, helping families affected by COVID-19 and who are quarantined to stay at home and recover while food and supplies are delivered to them.

“Haven Ministries has been so generous with our families in Grasonville, Church Hill, Sudlersville, and Queenstown. Every need has been met – including food, diapers, and formula. They have even been supporting families with their utility and rent payments. These families have been so grateful,” states Victoria Gomez Lozano, Hispanic Outreach Coordinator for Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center.

She adds, “We couldn’t be more thankful for the support they are providing for these families.”

With increased demands for its food pantries and overall services in Queen Anne’s County, Haven Ministries relocated its food pantries from Stevensville and Centreville, along with its Centreville Resource Center, to a new Food Pantry/Resource Center at 206 Del Rhodes Avenue in Queenstown in July. By streamlining its services, the organization is creating a more centralized location to provide services, improving efficiencies for its clients, staff, and volunteers. At the new location, customers can select their own food items once a month and connect to much-needed resources in one location.

The Queenstown Center, including the food pantry and resource center, is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and one day a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Clients must register first by calling 410-827-7194. The Resource Center at the Fisher Manor Housing Development in Grasonville is open on the second Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to noon. The pop-up food pantries in Sudlersville are held monthly. For further information, visit haven-ministries.org.

Love shapes the ministry, love transforms people, and hope prevails at Haven Ministries.  Haven Ministries operates a seasonal Homeless Shelter, a Resource Center and Food Pantry at 206 Del Rhodes Avenue in Queenstown, Our Daily Thread Thrift Store in Stevensville, and Hope Warehouse in Queenstown.

Commissioners award grant for $10,000 to Haven Ministries

BY ANGELA PRICE baytimes@kibaytimes.com

CENTREVILLE — At the April 14 meeting, the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners unanimously approved a request from Haven Ministries for $10,000 to help the organization continue to provide essential services during the coronavirus pandemic, including the emergency homeless shelter, food pantries and resource centers.

Haven Ministries Executive Director Krista Pettit made the request in an April 8 letter. She said the resource center provides around $4,340 in financial assistance to an average of 33 people monthly and the food pantries distribute up to 10,000 pounds of food at each of two monthly locations.

“Many more families are beginning to feel impacted as hourly wages are scaled back, businesses in our community are shutting down and the schools have closed,” Pettit wrote.

At the March food pantry, Haven Ministries served 857 people — 100 were new clients.

“As a result of the increased need we now distribute emergency food on a daily basis,” Pettit continued.

From October to April, the shelter served 38 people, including 12 children. “In anticipation of additional emergency conditions we are planning to extend the shelter operations into the summer months,” Pettit said.

Commissioner Jim Moran said Pettit told him the organization had to close its resale shop, which usually brings in about $3,000 a month; cancel fundraisers; and relocate shelter operations from Kent Island United Methodist Church, where the bunks are too close together for proper social distancing measures, to area hotels.

Having to use hotels alone costs Haven an estimated $10,000 a month, Moran said.

The county needs to provide these services, and the best way to do that is through intermediaries like Haven Ministries, Commissioner Steve Wilson said.

The commissioners voted 5-0 to award Haven Ministries the $10,000 grant.

Anyone wishing to make a donation can send a check to Haven Ministries, P.O. Box 44, Chester, MD 21619 or on the website: haven-ministries.org.

Anyone needing emergency food or financial assistance can contact Haven Ministries by calling 410-739-4363. For emergency shelter services, call 410-739-7859.