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Nonprofit Turning Food Donated by MGM National Harbor Into Thousands of Meals for Families

Caterer helps distribute meals

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Days after MGM National Harbor temporarily closed, it opened its doors to donate food that otherwise would’ve gone bad to the community.

A Rockville, Maryland, nonprofit, Nourish Now, picked up 55,000 pounds of food this week from MGM to help out families in need in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. The donation will feed more than 10,000 people, Nourish Now founder Brett Meyers said.

“It was a quick thing, too,” he said. “They reached out to us, and then in a couple hours we had over 40,000 meals that we can distribute.”

They received thousands of pounds of fruits, vegetables and meats meant for MGM National Harbor’s restaurants. The food will help families avoid having to go to the grocery store, Meyers said.

Nourish Now usually feeds about 40 families a day, but now with a donation to make about 45,000 meals, they need help distributing it. That’s where a Gaithersburg catering company, Simply Fresh Events, stepped in to help.

“Typically, we would cater three weddings a week at somebody's house or a farm,” owner Matt Phaelen said. “So, we are trying to put our resources where we can to help the community.”

Phaelen brought some of the food Friday to people living in the Seneca Heights Apartments, a residence for former homeless people run by the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless (MCCH).

“To have this kind of amazing food possible and ready makes you feel a little less anxious quite frankly,” said Lynn Rose, who works for MCCH.

She’s coordinating this large donation of food and said this residence is just one of 510 households they’re trying to continue to support during this pandemic.

Families in need in Montgomery or Prince George’s county can go to NourishNow.org to sign up for an appointment to pick up a free meal.

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