3,000 Sandwiches and Counting

McDonogh’s Lower School students know how to make a terrific turkey and cheese sandwich; and they’ve had lots of practice. In fact, on Thursday, May 22, they assembled their 3,000th sandwich of the year, which will be distributed through the Corpus Christi soup kitchen in the Reservoir Hill community.

The current crop of students aren’t the first to make sandwiches for the hungry in Baltimore. John Grega, McDonogh’s Director of Religious Studies, Character and Service, has been directing the sandwich making for 20 years. Putting the meat and cheese on the bread with a little bit of mustard and then slipping the sandwich into a baggie is just the final step in the process that starts with Lower School Giving Wednesdays. The loose change and donations collected throughout the year on Giving Wednesdays cover the cost of the sandwich ingredients.

“We went to this model after years of working with Save The Children where we sponsored a number of children in far-off places,” Grega says about the local sandwich-making effort. In addition to the sandwiches he says they also deliver crates of oranges, which are most welcome by people who rarely get fresh fruit.

Working with the Lower School for some 20 years, Grega, who is retiring at the end of the school year, and his young helpers have assembled tens of thousands of sandwiches. He is quick to mention that he could not accomplish the task without the support of volunteers and coordinators Ann Fleming and Leslie Zuga.

“They oversee everything to ensure the experience is efficient, enjoyable, and meaningful for the children. Their enlistment of adult volunteers (and sometimes Upper School students) is essential to the overall success of each sandwich-making event,” he says. “Imagine two adults trying to direct personally and affably 18 pairs of second grade hands ‘armed’ with spoons of mustard and trying to manipulate breakable turkey onto two slices of bread. It just would not work: hence the value of the coordinator and the volunteers.”

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McDonogh School | 410.363.0600 |
8600 McDonogh Road | Owings Mills | Maryland | 21117