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Rock Spring Park Market Patrons Donate Nearly 800 ‘Items’ To Bethesda Cares

By Aaron Kraut

Thursday - 8/21/2014, 3:25pm  ET

Donations made to Bethesda Cares Thursday at Rock Springs Park Market, via Rock Springs Park MarketClients of the homeless outreach nonprofit Bethesda Cares will be getting 50 meals from a local barbecue food truck, plus a whole bunch of other donations from employees at a local office park.

Piedmont Office Realty Trust, one of the property managers at the Rockledge Drive office park in Bethesda, puts on a food truck and farmers market each Thursday during the summer for nearby workers.

The Rock Spring Park Market was set for its last day this year next week, but organizer Stacee Longenecker heard from many who wanted the event to continue into September.

With Bethesda Cares at the market on Thursday, market organizers challenged patrons to donate items or money (with $1 counting as one “item”) in order to extend the market season.

Longenecker reported that patrons donated $404 and 345 items (mainly toiletries, food and clothing) for a total of 749 donations. That means the market will be extended for all four Thursdays in September.

Montgomery County food truck Curley’s BBQ pledged to match the donations of its patrons, in the form of 50 meals each made up of a sandwich, slaw and baked beans.

Bethesda Cares provides counseling, clothing and food to homeless individuals living on the streets of Bethesda and elsewhere in Montgomery County. The nonprofit, based on Woodmont Avenue, also assists homeless people through the affordable housing process.  Since 2010, it has referred 41 individuals experiencing homelessness into permanent supportive housing programs.