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Three Generations of Swirnows to Feed Over 20,000 City Residents This Thanksgiving

For the past eight years, the “Our Family to Your Family” program, led by the Baltimore-based Swirnow family, has provided tens of thousands of the city’s residents with food for Thanksgiving. On Saturday, November 19th, with the help of their employees, friends, volunteers and more than 60 Baltimore non-profit organizations, they hope to distribute over 70,000 pounds of turkey dinners to needy families.

Launched in 1997 by Richard A. Swirnow, Developer of the Inner Harbor properties at HarborView, the program has grown into a multi-generational effort thanks to the involvement of his son David E. Swirnow, President of Swirnow Building Systems; daughter-in-law Beth; and grandchildren Michael and Jennifer.

“The ‘Our Family to Your Family’ program has become a tradition all by itself,” said David Swirnow. “I’m proud to say that over the past few years many of our customers, vendors and friends joined the cause and found it a terrific opportunity to give back to their communities.”

The program distributes traditional Thanksgiving dinners in the form of “Adopt A Turkey” gift baskets to participating non-profit organizations who ensure that the food reaches needy families.

For The Maryland School for the Blind, one of the participants in last year’s program, the gift baskets help create a wonderful holiday memory. “I can’t begin to tell you how much this food means to our students and their families,” said the school’s representative Christine Bentley.

At South Baltimore Emergency Relief, Executive Director Elizabeth Baer said that the donations made Thanksgiving “a day of not only giving thanks, but providing the less fortunate with delicious dinners.”

Judy Stauffer, Development Office for Community Assistance Network, told David Swirnow, “You are truly a champion of CAN’s promise of community action – helping people, changing lives.”

Recipients of the baskets this year will include disabled, unemployed, and elderly residents, but needy families continue to be what the program is all about. “Our Family to Your Family is unique in that our purpose is to provide a family package, to be cooked at home to focus on allowing families to be together in their own homes at this traditional time,” said Richard Swirnow. “We want to focus on families and family traditions.”

Food distribution will take place at the Swirnow Building Systems warehouse, 2801 Sisson Street and at the HarborView Community on Key Highway on Saturday, November 19.

“Our program has fed more than 120,000 city residents in the past eight years,” said David Swirnow. “In 2005, with the help of our employees, sponsors, volunteers and the various non-profit organizations, we continue to expand our efforts to provide food relief for those in need.”


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