Thursday, November 3, 2016

UPDATE: USNA Midshipmen Donate Record-Breaking 80,000 Pounds of Food

By Petty Officer 3rd Class Brianna Jones

UPDATE: A previous version of this story stated the mids collected more than 75,000 pounds of food, which was an initial estimate. The food bank later weighed the food and put the official total at more than 80,000 pounds.

Midshipmen from the United States Naval Academy’s Midshipman Action Group (MAG) and the USNA’s Chaplains Office collected and donated a record-breaking 80,000 pounds of non-perishable food items Nov. 3 for the Harvest for the Hungry Campaign.

Harvest for the Hungry is an annual food drive sponsored by the Anne Arundel County Food and Resource Bank to help low-income families with meals and other basic needs year-round. 

This is the 8th year that MAG has partnered with the Anne Arundel Food Bank and Anne Arundel Public Schools for this campaign, and they were able to donate more food than ever before.

The midshipmen began collecting items in September, participating in a friendly competition between the companies to see who could collect the most food. There is no formal prize, just bragging rights for the winner and the pride of knowing that they helped those in need.

“We don’t get any sort of rewards. We are doing this because we love to help the community,” said project manager Midshipman 1st Class Megan Rosenberger. “One in three kids in Anne Arundel County are food insecure, and we want to do anything we can to help end that. “

The Anne Arundel Food Bank’s on-site feeding programs serve more than one million meals per year which is made possible, in part, by the donations brought in by this event.

“This drive is essential to give us what we need over the holiday season,” said Susan Thomas, associate director of the Anne Arundel Food and Resource Bank. “The amount of food donated by the midshipmen will keep us stocked until spring.”

Annapolis is the home for midshipmen for four years, and for the MAG members, it just makes sense to give back to their immediate community beyond the gates.

“We started working with the Harvest for the Hungry program eight years ago,” said Miriam Stanicic, USNA community relations director. “At that time, we collected 8,000 pounds, and all the food fit in one large van. Never did we dream that just years later, the midshipman would be collecting this amount of food.”

“The midshipmen have been great," said Thomas. "Not just with the food drive, but they volunteer their time at the food bank and are always willing to give help anywhere that we need it."

MAG was established in 1992 as a community relations program for and by the Brigade of Midshipmen. The group offers a variety of educational and social service volunteer projects to instill a sense of servitude that will stick with them all of their lives. MAG encourages peer leadership, teamwork, morale and selflessness - all of which are traits that will set them up for success as naval leaders.


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