The Anne Arundel County Association of Realtors (AACAR) hosted its 14th annual Harvest for the Hungry Happy Hour November 21 at Twain’s Tavern.
Through monetary donations and nonperishable food items, AACAR collected more than 151,000 pounds of food for the Anne Arundel County Food Bank.
“The Realtors in the Anne Arundel County Association of Realtors and affiliates are the best around for coming together to contribute their time, resources and energy,” said Pam Harrison, who organizes and manages the event. “I am so proud to be part of this community.”
The Harvest for the Hungry food drive started more than 20 years ago with Rich Dobry, the manager of Coldwell Banker, asking the Realtors to collect food every year for the Anne Arundel County Food Bank.
“Boxes would be put in offices and food would be dropped off,” explained Harrison.
Five years later, AACAR started hosting a happy-hour event to kick off the annual food drive.
“The first year, we had two bathroom scales and weighed the bags as people brought them to the happy hour,” Harrison said. “I believe we collected 500 pounds that year and thought we were doing fantastic!”
From there, things took off. With a passion for giving back, and a bit of competitive spirit, Realtor offices around the county started collecting more and more each year, with more than 55,000 pounds in 2018.
“This event helps so many people in the county where we live and work,” Harrison added. “Many members have said they wouldn't miss the food drive. We are competitors daily, and we come together daily to volunteer to better our industry.”
Founded in 1986, the Anne Arundel County Food Bank was established to collect, purchase, and distribute food to not-for-profit human service organizations in the county. The AACFB is the only free multipurpose agency in Maryland that provides free food and nutritional supplements.
According to its website, in Fiscal Year 2019, AACFB processed and distributed almost $4 million worth of food and basic necessities, which included more than 2.6 million pounds of food to member agencies, including pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and more.