More than 350 casseroles were donated to eight partner organizations during Jewish Volunteer Connection’s “Casserole Challenge” on Tuesday, Dec. 3, to help people in need.

The challenge was a “Live With Purpose” volunteer opportunity offered by JVC, a program of The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore.

Area residents were challenged to make and donate frozen casseroles to support local families and individuals experiencing food insecurity. JVC held three challenges last year, which brought in more than 600 casseroles that were donated to a variety of organizations, including Living Classrooms and Dru/Mondawmin Healthy Families.

Among the groups that made casseroles for the Dec. 3 challenge were the JCC Early Childhood Learning Centers, the Baltimore Chesed League, a JVC Moms VolunTeam, and the Eldersburg Jewish Congregation.

Collection sites for the donated casseroles included the Park Heights Jewish Community Center, the Owings Mills JCC, and LifeBridge Health and Fitness in Pikesville.

“This November’s JVC Casserole Challenge was our largest yet, with more than 350 casseroles collected and distributed through nonprofit organizations to families in need,” said JVC Executive Director Ashley Pressman. “Three-hundred-and-fifty families went home last night with a hot meal, which takes an enormous burden off of everyone in the home.”

Pressman said she and her staff were inspired by talking to volunteers about the backgrounds of their casserole offerings.

“It was so inspiring to talk to volunteers as they brought in their casseroles and hear them share their memories about the ‘family favorite casseroles’ that they were bringing in,” she said. “We love being able to create those connections between families. Even though the donors and recipients may never meet, the love and care that went into the casseroles was so evident, and I know it was felt by the people who received them.”

The next “Casserole Challenge” drop-off will be held Feb. 25. For information, visit jvcbaltimore.org/live-with-purpose-february-casserole/.

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