‘Stuff The Truck’ Event To Aid Salvation Army

OCEAN CITY — A spontaneous act of goodwill could turn into a holiday tradition in West Ocean City.
Later this month, Denny-O, owner of Peppers Tavern, will be parking his vintage 1956 farm truck in front of the West Ocean City Super Fresh store seeking food donations for the Salvation Army in the first-ever “Stuff the Truck” initiative.
“I’ve wanted to do it in front of my restaurant over here for three years at Peppers on [Route] 611,” said Denny-O. “But I just never really seemed to be able to get it off of the ground, and I knew I needed a big organization.”
He found the perfect partnership with the Salvation Army, calling the situation a “grand slam.”
“It’s one of the more credible organizations for me to donate my time and efforts to, especially around Christmas time,” Denny-O said.
The unexpected burst of charity over the holidays will be a big help to the local Salvation Army, according to Sherry Maykrantz, director of development.
“All of the food that’s going to be collected when we’re in front of the Super Fresh in West Ocean City is going to go feed the hungry and the homeless in our local community,” she said.
The Salvation Army has a number of other similar charity events and will in fact be hosting three simultaneously this weekend. But those charity drives focus on toys for the holidays and clothes instead of food, which can also be in short supply, especially during the winter season.
The local Salvation Army, though based in Salisbury, supplies goods and services all over the lower shore. The organization’s food pantry is open to several counties including Worcester and Wicomico and can start to grow lean in the stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which makes “Stuff the Truck” all the more welcome. Maykrantz was furthered impressed by the how the offer was made out of the blue earlier this week.
“[Denny-O] is a very grateful and generous guy. I’ve known him forever … I was really excited that he was just so quick to volunteer, and just take a day and put his truck out and push it and advertise it,” Maykrantz said.
Even more encouraging is that the truck event could become a regular event and attract more volunteers.
“This is going to be really fun. He wants to make this an annual event and I think that if more restaurants, more local businesses wanted to participate in this, and put it in all types of different locations it could be really big,” Maykrantz said.
There’s definitely a “more the merrier” feeling about the day, Denny-O agreed. that the Salvation Army’s food pantry tends to be stretched a little thin during these months, Denny-O is committed to seeing a big return on “Stuff the Truck”. The goal is to return with the entire bed of the truck overflowing with food.
The community enthusiasm is welcome, said Maykrantz, who just started with the Salvation Army this week.
“I’m excited to see the potential impact that it could have. I’d like to bring a lot of awareness to Worcester County because a lot of people don’t really associate the Salvation Army with Worcester County,” she said.
Maykrantz added that she also hopes to educate people about the scope of work that the agency does, operating not only during the holidays but all year.
The Salvation Army will be accepting donations at Berlin, Pocomoke and Fruitland Wal-Marts this Saturday, Dec. 14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Denny-O will be hosting “Stuff the Truck” outside of the West Ocean City Super Fresh on Saturday, Dec. 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.