Gaithersburg, MD

45-Year-Old U.S.Shopping Mall, Closing March 31st, Loses a Food Pantry That Has Reportedly Distributed Millions of Meals

Joel Eisenberg

The community’s loss of the food pantry has been called “collateral damage” from the closing mall.
Lakeforest Mall; Gaithersburg, MDPhoto byAdobe Stock

Author’s Note

This article is based on corporate postings and accredited media reports. Linked information within this article is attributed to the following outlets: and


I write extensively about the state of U.S. shooting malls for NewsBreak. For lack of more appropriate verbiage, this article will detail “collateral damage” — as the loss has reportedly been referred to by residents — of a mall permanently closing this Friday, March 31st.

According to a January 19th report from, entitled “After 45 Years, Lakeforest Mall to Close at the End of March,” the 45-year old Maryland location is permanently shuttering due to its loss of anchor stores and continuing increase in crime.

From the report: Lakeforest Mall in Gaithersburg will permanently close at the end of March, officials announced at a City of Gaithersburg Mayor and City Council meeting Tuesday evening. Bob Dalrymple, partner at the law firm Selzer Gurvitch and land use counsel to South Carolina developer WRS Inc., said they want to begin the demolition process as soon as possible. However, financing on the mall requires it to remain for now. If redevelopment plans fall through, the goal would be to look at re-tenanting the mall. 

Now comes word that a food pantry adjoining the mall is also closing, one that has reportedly distributed 34 million meals in the last three years to those who could barely afford to eat.

Let us explore further.

U.S. Shopping Malls, 2023

According to a report from, entitled “Gaithersburg Food Pantry Days Away From Shutting Down Operations,” the entity is reaching out to the public to help them continue operations.

As excerpted from the report: Leaders with So What Else said that some people could have trouble finding their next meals without this pantry... For about three years, So What Else has been running its food distribution program at Lakeforest Mall... Executive Director Dave Silbert said the organization didn’t start as a pantry but they noticed things got worse for people since the pandemic especially when it dealt with food. He said that So What Else has distributed about 34 million meals since March 2020.

In terms of public outreach, the report goes on to state: The organization asked the community to help in any way it can. “What we’re looking at, for 10-15 thousand square feet of storage and flex space, is between $12 to $15,000 a month. So people getting involved, people donating, donating in-kind materials, volunteering, and getting involved in the grassroots movement is incredibly appreciated,” Silbert said.


This is a developing story. In the event of pertinent updates to this matter, I will share them here on NewsBreak.

Thank you for reading.

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I am an award-winning author, screenwriter for film and television, and producer. My mission on News Break is to share socially important perspectives on both culture and pop-culture. Member of PEN America, and the WGA.

Northridge, CA

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