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SoMdNews.com/Calvert County Recorder: Calvert County Schaefer Helping People Award presented

The 2019 Calvert County Schaefer Helping People Award was presented virtually to Jack "Little Jack" Woodford, founder of the Heart F.E.L.T program.

F.E.L.T. — an acronym for Filling Empty Little Tummies — is a program that partners with local churches, providing meals to children who are considered "food insecure" in Calvert County.

According to a news release from the Comptroller of Maryland, the F.E.L.T. program provides meals to children in the county during evenings, weekends and holidays.

The program — founded in 2012 — commenced at Trinity United Methodist in Prince Frederick, stemming from inspiration and principles of the late William Donald Schaefer, a former Maryland comptroller and governor.

Woodford, who stands 6-foot and 10-inches, told Southern Maryland News that he got his nickname a few years back when a youth at his church — also named Jack — ironically received the nickname "Big Jack."

His impetus for the program came after his father's stroke; which took place in his presence as a child. His neighbors in upstate New York were able to provide some security to his family post tragedy.

"As a child, my dad was a dairy farmer. When I was four years old — I was right there when it happened — dad suffered a crippling stroke," he said. "I remember him sitting in a chair and stamping his feet. ... That was in 1955. There wasn't much they could do for a stroke victim."

He added that his father was no longer able to support his family forcing him to grow up on welfare. However, he told the paper his family had a lot of people who helped them in their time of need.

Woodford, who stands 6-foot and 10-inches, told Southern Maryland News that he got his nickname a few years back when a youth at his church — also named Jack — ironically received the nickname "Big Jack."

His impetus for the program came after his father's stroke; which took place in his presence as a child. His neighbors in upstate New York were able to provide some security to his family post tragedy.

"As a child, my dad was a dairy farmer. When I was four years old — I was right there when it happened — dad suffered a crippling stroke," he said. "I remember him sitting in a chair and stamping his feet. ... That was in 1955. There wasn't much they could do for a stroke victim."

He added that his father was no longer able to support his family forcing him to grow up on welfare. However, he told the paper his family had a lot of people who helped them in their time of need.

Woodford followed with saying — other than food — the kids all need love. "They are all going through hard times. Some of them don't know they are going through hard times, but they are. Many of the parents are going through hard times too. Right now, with this pandemic, it's even more difficult."

He told the Southern Maryland News that the food program is "on hold" due to the pandemic and is concerned about the coming future.

"We are kind of on hold with our food program," Woodford said. "I am also in charge of the Tree of Angels. ... We provide Christmas gifts for approximately 600 children or so from over 300 Calvert County families. Are we going to be able to meet the needs of all the children? I was a recipient of a similar program when I was a child. It breaks my heart if we are not able to."

https://www.somdnews.com/recorder/news/calvert-county-schaefer-helping-people-award-presented/article_8c7305c6-5ad7-56c9-9399-28295363594f.html


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