- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Every day for a week, the 10 members of the “Sassy Seniors” in North Beach ate something from a local farm as part of the "Take the Buy Local Challenge with FRIENDS!" contest.
On Thursday at the North Beach Senior Center, the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission and Secretary of the Maryland Department of Agriculture Buddy Hance presented the “Sassy Seniors” with a food basket valued at $200 filled with items from local farms for winning the challenge.
Some of the items in the basket included apples, squash, potatoes, jellies, tomatoes, apple pies, pickles, honey and watermelon.
Hance, a Port Republic resident, told the crowd that he was “proud to be here in Calvert County to award this.”
“Southern Maryland has won more of the challenges than the rest of the state,” he said.
A $200 ceremonial check was also presented to the Southern Maryland Food Bank in the name of the 10 women on behalf of the SMADC and the MDA.
The money, said Brenda DiCarlo, director of the Southern Maryland Food Bank, will be used to buy local produce, which will be given to local food pantries where families in need can pick it up.
“It means quite a bit to get the money,” she said. “We don’t get the opportunity very often” to give or help families in need get fresh, local produce, “so this is an incredible boost to what we do.”
The contest, hosted by the SMADC, required participants to take pictures of themselves while taking the challenge and then uploading the photos to the Buy Local Challenge Facebook page. In addition, participants were required to explain the “unique way you and your friends took the challenge,” and list some of the local produce the participants enjoyed.
The winner was chosen by a group of judges who picked their favorite photo, the contest website states.
Each member picked something they wanted to make and the group hosted a luncheon at the North Beach Town Hall, said Sally Donaldson, a member of the “Sassy Seniors.”
This was the second year the group participated, she said, adding that after the first year, the group said “we’re gonna take a chance and do it again, because it was a lot of fun.”
During the award presentation, Donaldson read a poem the group wrote, which ends, “We’ve done our ‘challenge’ / And we did it the ‘BEST!’”
“When I come around next year with that little green paper, make sure you get in on this,” Donaldson said to the crowd of senior citizens at the center after she read the poem.
She said she hopes that next year, all of the people sitting in the room would participate.
Fighting back tears, Donaldson told the crowd the “Sassy Seniors” would be raffling off the basket at North Beach’s Friday Night Farmer’s Market and Classic Car Cruise-In, and that the proceeds would benefit Frank Hayward III, a 12-year-old Owings boy who lost his family and was hospitalized for about a month following a July 31 murder-suicide.