James Rada, Jr.
(11/20) The Thurmont town government may
soon take on a larger role in supporting the
Thurmont Food Bank.
“The vast majority of people in our
parishes are in favor of the town providing
resources,” Pastor James Hamrick with Lamb of
God in Lewistown told the Thurmont
Commissioners during their Nov. 10 town
Thurmont Commissioner Bob Lookingbill and
representatives of the Thurmont Food Bank have
been pushing for months for the food bank to
be given space in the Thurmont town office.
Town officials offered other town-owned space
and helped solicit some possible private
locations, but the food bank representatives
rejected them all, continuing to say that
space at the rear of the town office was the
“Just give them a chance back there,”
Lookingbill said. He would like the food bank
to have a two-year lease on the space with an
option to extend it for two more years.
As of the end of October 2008, the Thurmont
Food Bank has already served more than twice
as many individuals as it did in all of 2007.
Space for the food to give these people and
for them to wait to get their food is growing
tight at the food bank’s current location in
St. John’s Lutheran Church on North Church
Though the space that the food bank is
seeking at the town office would allow for
more storage, it would have a smaller waiting
area for clients than the fellowship hall at
St. John’s. The town space would also need
some modifications, according to Sally Joyner
Giffin, pastor of Harriet Chapel Episcopal
The space in the town office is currently
being used for storage. When the Thurmont
Police Department moved out of the town
office, it freed up space that allowed the
town to stop paying roughly $1,700 a year for
Commissioner Glenn Muth said that if a
cost-effective alternative for storage of the
items that would need to be moved could be
developed, he would support relocating the
food bank to the town office. Lookingbill
suggested storing anything that needed to be
moved in the new Thurmont Police station.
Mayor Martin Burns said he doesn’t believe
it is government’s role to house the food
bank. Walkersville town government provides
space and utilities for its food bank, but it
is apparently the only government-sited food
bank in Frederick County.
Burns’s other objection is that he believes it
won’t be a temporary location for the food
“I also believe once you guys move in,
you’re never moving out,” Burns said.
Muth volunteered to chair a committee that
would look at the feasibility of relocating
the food bank into the town office versus
“I cannot believe there is not ample room
in some of the larger churches in Thurmont for
the food bank,” said John Kinnaird of
Thurmont, who opposed the relocation.
Commissioner Ron Terpko said property
owners have had time to volunteer their
buildings. “If somebody had a space who wanted
to give it, we would have already heard from
them,” Terpko said.
Brian Lynch of Thurmont said that providing
the increased support, potentially free space
and utilities to one non-profit organization,
would give other non-profits in Thurmont
reason to ask for an equivalent level of
The commissioners plan to vote on the
relocation issue during the Nov. 24 town