ST. MICHAELS — When the St. Michaels Community Center began serving at the heart of the Bay Hundred community in 1990, no one could have imagined the impact the neighborhood organization would have 30 years later, especially while the organization serves as the Bay Hundred’s food hub during the nation’s COVID-19 pandemic. Nor would they have ever imagined the great kindness gathered during the pandemic through the organization’s role as the community’s helpers.

SMCC Executive Director Trish Payne says SMCC has helped provide 1,941 bags of groceries and 3,830 take-out and delivery meals to people from throughout the Bay Hundred area — which stretches from St. Michaels to Tilghman Island — in the weeks between April 6 and June 19.

The center continues to provide food support at its Railroad Avenue location on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and has recently re-opened its Treasure Cove Thrift Store with limited guests, required masks, and adherence to social distancing practices.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps around the globe, uncertainty and apprehension travel right along with it,” Payne said. “But humanity rises to the challenge in so many ways big and small, as I have been lucky enough to witness in St. Michaels through my role as the community center’s Executive Director.”

Payne credits community members for aiding in the effort to support those in need.

“In addition to all the selfless health care workers, law enforcement agencies, grocery workers, food manufacturers, truck drivers, churches, social service groups, soup kitchens and more, there are also many unseen heroes among us,” Payne added. “Neighbors, friends, and strangers are stepping up to support each other and the folks on the front lines helping to keep our communities safe, heal the sick, and feed the hungry.”

The St. Michaels Community Center is part of a community of food support organizations operating under the Talbot County Emergency Services Task Force. SMCC works as the Bay Hundred food hub, keeping food on the tables and bags of groceries in the homes of those in need. The center works in partnership with other food banks, churches, Meals on Wheels, and many local businesses and volunteers pulling together.

The St. Michaels Community Center — with a mission to serve, empower, and connect our community — is committed to combating discrimination and racism through its actions, partnerships, and programs. The Center’s programs of food distribution, neighborhood engagement, family activities, and more aim to bring neighbors together and reduce inequality.

Donations supporting SMCC can be made at paypal.me/smccmd, with non-perishable food, household supplies, and dry goods received by drop-off at the St. Michaels Community Center. More information is at stmichaelscc.org.

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