Volunteers push a cart laden with perishable food items including bread and carrots

Credit: Will Kirk / Johns Hopkins University

Volunteers spread holiday cheer during community food drives

Volunteers from Johns Hopkins distributed hot meals and perishable food items Saturday and Monday to Baltimore families in need

Volunteers from Johns Hopkins worked overtime this past week to distribute hot meals and food supplies to Baltimoreans in need. On Saturday, volunteers visited World Central Kitchen and Catherine's Family and Youth Services to hand out 500 hot, pre-packaged meals of rice, green beans, and meatloaf with gravy at each location. The holiday spirit continued Monday during the annual Vernon Rice Memorial Turkey program, in which volunteers distributed 200 turkeys, as well as produce such as carrots, bread, and potatoes at St. Anthony of Padua church.

The turkey program is a long-running tradition for Johns Hopkins University, which gathers donations from staff to purchase the turkeys, along with potatoes and greens, from nearby Richardson Farms. These partnerships trace back to Vernon Rice, a JHU mechanic who was an active volunteer at St. Anthony and started a food pantry at the church, eventually bringing Johns Hopkins into the effort. After his death, the charity drive was named in his honor.

"It's always so rewarding to see Hopkins in the community, giving back to the very city where a number of our faculty and staff live and work," says Alicia Wilson, vice president for economic development at the Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Health System. "The opportunity to support families during the holidays is extremely important, and we're honored to do it each and every year!"