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Donate to Local Soup Kitchen in Exchange for Museum Passes When Attending Free Holiday Open Houses at County Museums

Leonardtown, MD – The St. Mary’s County Museum Division is partnering with St. Mary’s Caring Soup Kitchen, the only full-time soup kitchen in Southern Maryland, to help feed residents in need during the holiday season through their “Feed the Families” program, which provides groceries for the most impoverished families at three Title 1 schools in St. Mary’s County.

The public is encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item when attending either the free family Holiday Open House at St. Clement’s Island Museum or the free family Holiday Open House at Piney Point Lighthouse Museum on Sunday, December 1, 2019 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. in exchange for a free pass to use at the museum at a future date. Though only one free pass maximum will be given to each person that donates, regardless of quantity donated, the public is encouraged to donate as much as they are able.

St. Mary’s Caring Soup Kitchen, founded in 1993 under the name “Mary’s Song,” is a small community-based non-profit organization serving the underprivileged in St. Mary’s County. Though their primary mission is to serve breakfast and lunch, free of charge, Monday through Saturday, they operate many other programs of service, including those that provide to food-insecure families and children at local schools.

Kristine Millen, Executive Director for the St. Mary’s Caring Soup Kitchen, is ecstatic to be partnering with the museums, seeing it as a wonderful new opportunity between two seemingly unrelated organizations: “We are thrilled that the Museum Division will be working with us on our ‘Feed the Family’ program this holiday season. Our mission is to provide free meals to anyone in need, no questions asked, serving all with a spirit of compassion, dignity, and respect, so every little bit helps to make sure no one goes hungry during the holidays.”

In 2018, St. Mary’s Caring Soup Kitchen provided an amazing 39,773 free meals to needy local individuals, children and families. They operate their facility on Great Mills Road and large number of programs with a very active volunteer Board of Directors, two part-time staff members and about 100 regular volunteers. They are completely independent and are not directly funded by any larger parent organization.

“The Museum Division is happy to be supporting the ‘Feed the Family’ program this holiday season,” says Karen Stone, Manager for the St. Mary’s County Museum Division. “It is a perfect complement to the ‘Museums for All’ initiative, already in place at our sites. We welcome St. Mary’s Caring Soup Kitchen as one of our many crucial collaborating community partners.”

The Holiday Open Houses at St. Clement’s Island Museum and Piney Point Lighthouse Museum kick off fun and unique month-long holiday exhibits at each site. For more information regarding these events, or this initiative, please visit the St. Mary’s County Museum Division at Facebook.com/SCIMuseum or Facebook.com/1836Light, or museums.stmarysmd.com.

For more information about the wonderful work St. Mary’s Caring Soup Kitchen does for the residents of St. Mary’s County, or how you can volunteer or donate, please visit StMarysCaring.org.

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