White Marsh Police Officers stand with the food they donated to CAN

WHITE MARSH— The holidays may be over but the White Marsh Police Department continued to spread cheer throughout the community last week by donating around 160 pounds of food to The Community Assistance Network (CAN).

The Community Assistance Network is a private, nonprofit, community action agency that responds to local needs.

“I love what we do for people,” Phylis Tinsley, Director of Special Projects at CAN.

“We provide food to around 30 to 40 households every day and around 1,000 every month in Baltimore County. We also provide an after school program, rent assistance, help with security deposits, career planning and we recently started processing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) applications.”

Tinsley has been working at CAN for 35 years and said CAN has two of the largest shelters in Baltimore County and has offices throughout the county, including Essex.

Angela Mickle, Sargent for the White Marsh Police Precinct said officers collect food for the community every year and that they enjoy giving back to the community.

“We are in positions where we are able to engage with the community and this is a great way to do it,” Mickle said.

“I have been collecting food for 9 years and this is by far the biggest year yet.”

Tinsley said the food that was collected from the White Marsh officers was sent to households the same day.

“When you have 40 households to feed every day we have to work fast,” Tinsley said.

Tinsley said Community Action Agencies were established over 50 years ago as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty legislation known as the 1964 Equal Opportunity Act.

The legislation ensure three things. First, that the structure of the agency would be adaptable to local issues and new trends.

Second, that the required tripartite Board of Directors (1/3 elected and appointed government officials, 1/3 private citizens, and 1/3 low income people or their advocates) maintained “maximum feasible participation” from all sectors of the jurisdictions served.

Third, and most important, the flexibility and grassroots nature of each agency would enable us to follow through on our basic goal: “Helping People. Changing Lives.”

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