Sending Donations Where They’re Needed Most

Months ago, our team in North Bethesda received a large donation unlike any other. While the team is used to receiving miscellaneous items and unrecognizable food items, they’d never imagined they’d be asked to take in hundreds of thousands of surgical gowns from Blessed in Tech Ministries. Never one to pass up a donation, they accepted, though at the time, they were unsure when or who they’d give them away to. For months they sat in our warehouse while we searched for someone to take them. But On Monday, July 24th, with the help of FC Group, we were able to send all 253,972lbs of surgical gowns where they will be needed most: the frontlines of Ukraine.

It’s moments like we’re humbled by the scale of our work and the global impact we’re able to have during exchanges such as these. Thank you to FC Group for facilitating this exchange and sending these gowns to a good home.


New Food Pantry Grand Opening

On Saturday, July 22nd, we unveiled our newly relocated Montgomery County Pantry and Thrift Store and were humbled by the outpouring of support we received. Sponsors, dignitaries, and supporters from all over the state joined us in ushering in this newest chapter of the So What Else story and sharing our mission with the world. Notable speakers included representatives from the offices of Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, State Delegate Julie Palakovich Carr, Councilmembers Gabe Albornoz, Laurie-Anne Sayles, and Will Jawando, and Patrick M. Campbell of Montgomery County DHHS. Catering was provided by Mamma Lucia and Sardi’s Restaurants, and coffee was provided by the incredible volunteer team from the Plaza del Mercado Starbucks.


We began the day by tying our festivities to the essence of why we do this work: our clients. Highlighting our Saturday outdoor food distribution, attendees were able to witness firsthand the magnanimity of the food crisis in our community and the thousands of pounds of food we recover in order to end it.


We then gave a tour of the new facility, one of the largest food distribution centers in the State of Maryland, while highlighting the importance of our other efforts to recover items such as clothing, books, diapers, and more.

But the real showstopper was the unveiling of our Brick in the Wall mural, showcasing the many sponsors that donated to help us reach this momentous day. With their support, we were able to find a home where we could not only continue to feed Montgomery County but expand and grow to feed more communities and more counties than ever before. It was only fitting that they have a permanent presence in our home, and we were honored to make them the focal point of the day’s festivities.

The day concluded with speeches, remarks, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony we’ll never forget. While this marks the conclusion of our search to find a new home, our story in North Bethesda is only just beginning, and the need for resources is only growing. Day by day, week by week, the number of clients we serve grows higher, and the need for financial support becomes more pertinent. But it’s not too late to etch your name into this era of So What Else and help us meet this challenge head-on. If you would like to be a part of our ever-growing movement to join us as we continue to write history, click here to donate a brick to our wall. Thank you.


New Food Box Program for Students!

We have recently launched a new initiative to address food insecurity among students. Thanks to the Fowler Foundation’s suggestion, So What Else has developed a food box program that ensures students have access to nutritious meals over the weekends and makes a real difference in the lives of many students.

The program is a perfect example of how we have connected our food and youth missions to make a significant impact on the community. We recognize that hunger can have a profound impact on a student’s academic performance and overall well-being. So, by providing food to these students, we are not only addressing a critical need but also contributing to the development of a healthy and successful future generation. The food boxes contain a variety of healthy foods that students can easily prepare over the weekend. The program aims to ensure that no student goes hungry and that they have the energy and resources they need to succeed in school and beyond.

The program also engages volunteers who pack and decorate the food boxes with the So What Else stickers and tape from Sticker Mule. Sticker Mule has been So What Else’s favorite sticker maker​, and their contribution has been crucial in making the program successful. Volunteers are vital to the program’s success, and they not only help pack the boxes but also provide a sense of community and support to the students.

Overall, our new food box program is an excellent example of how we can connect our missions to make a real impact on the community. The program not only addresses food insecurity but also provides opportunities for community involvement and support. Thanks to the Fowler Foundation and Sticker Mule, So What Else can continue to provide nutritious food to students and help them thrive both in and out of the classroom.

Fight Hunger and Host a Food Drive This March!

Join us in fighting hunger for local families during our final month at our Lakeforest Mall food pantry. You can help support our grand finale by hosting a food drive.

Drop off donations @ Lakeforest Mall, 701 Russell Ave, Gaithersburg, MD 20877 (Entrance located by Ruby Tuesdays – Look for the GREEN entrance)

Check out the final closing schedule for open drop-off days. More details are on the flyer below.

*We are also accepting donations of children’s t-shirts, undergarments, and socks.


MLK Day of Service 2023!

So What Else had a successful Martin Luther King Day of Service!

On January 15, our team and volunteers participated in environmental clean-ups at multiple spots along Good Hope Rd in DC.

On the 16th, staff and volunteers led a food and warm clothes giveaway at a local homeless shelter, with over 100 meals provided by Nando’s and Panera Bread. A big thank you to all the volunteers, Howard University Athletes in Action, women’s basketball & lacrosse teams, AKA Sorority, One Care D.C., and the USDA.

Also, a big shout out to My Girlfriend’s House, who prepared and donated 100 sandwiches for our families.

Thank you to our caring community for helping make our 2023 MLK weekend so impactful!

We need your help! Help us secure a new pantry space!

Dear Partners, Donors, and Supporters:

So What Else has received some regrettable news that our lease is being terminated at the Lakeforest Mall due to the recent purchase of the space for redevelopment, and we are required to vacate by March 31st, 2023. We are actively searching for a new space to house our pantry headquarters so that we can continue serving our 455,000 clients without disruption. We are reaching out in the hope that you will support us in our search. While we have been fortunate to lease our current space at Lakeforest Mall for a reasonable $1,500 a month, rent at a new location will likely increase by 500%… so we need your support now more than ever.

Our ideal space would be 10,000 – 12,000 sqare feet, with ample indoor and outdoor area to accommodate our services. An easily navigable parking lot for clients to access our free walk-up food pantry with space for our cold storage unit would be ideal, in addition to an indoor space for reception, our free thrift shop, and storage area for diapers, shelf-stable food, and youth programming materials.

So What Else would love to uplift and revitalize an old, abandoned space if one is available and meets our operational needs. Please visit the space before we close and see the incredible work at the Food Pantry from Sunday to Friday, 8 am to 4 pm, at 701 Russell Ave, Gaithersburg, MD 20877.

Our services include:

  • A walk-up pantry where we serve 125,000 meals a week
  • A free thrift shop with household items and clothing
  • A youth development storage space
  • A large storage facility for food pallets and 125,000 diapers

While circumstances are not ideal, we know that with the support of passionate individuals such as yourself, we will find a new location to call home and continue to serve the communities in the area. Please keep in mind that our services and operations will continue throughout the transition, and it is our priority to continue meeting the needs of those we serve without disruption.

If you have insight into locations that may be a fit for us or are interested in making a donation to support this effort, please reach out using the contact information provided below.

With gratitude,

Dave Silbert

CEO/Co-Founder, So What Else, Inc.
Phone: (240) 602-0486
One Preserve Parkway Suite 150, Rockville, Maryland 2085

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