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Could the nation’s airports be the next pressure points in the government shutdown? Also on our Monday rundown: Calls go out to improve food safety; and a new report renews calls for solutions to Detroit’s water woes.

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Volunteer Army to Pack One Million Meals at National Mall

Volunteers at the National Mall will pack one million meals for the hungry. Credit: USDA
Volunteers at the National Mall will pack one million meals for the hungry. Credit: USDA
September 10, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. - An army of volunteers, including a busload from Baltimore, will fill the National Mall tomorrow to prepare one million meals for the Capital Area Food Bank.

It's an AARP project for A Celebration of Service, with many of the meals going to seniors, veterans and first responders struggling to make ends meet.

The food bank reports that 13 percent of residents in Montgomery and Prince Georges counties are food insecure, with seniors the most at-risk group after children. Christy Page, outreach director at AARP Maryland, says volunteering is powerful on many levels.

"I'm hoping to really make a difference not only for those folks, but it makes a difference when you take a day out of your life for others," says Page.

More volunteers are needed for the event, and she encourages those who can't attend to take some time, even as little as five minutes, to help in their communities. A Celebration of Service is part of the National Day of Service and Remembrance on Sept. 11.

Brandon Edwards is a communications intern at AARP Maryland, and a student leader at Towson University. He rounded up 10 fellow students to help in the mall tomorrow, and feels a strong obligation to volunteer and advocate.

"Eighteen to 26, that age population has the biggest influence on social change, and politics and everything," says Edwards. "This age group has to be the biggest advocate for every other age group."

People looking for local volunteer opportunities can go to AARP's to make connections, or visit the site to register volunteer time and projects.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MD