Food Donations Needed-Even Fruitcake!
In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, many emergency pantries in our region were suddenly filled with people desperate to replace food lost in flood waters—at a time when the usual donors were responding to other needs. Making matters worse, no federal Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds for rent, mortgage, and food assistance were received in 2012 by any charity on Long Island. As we move deeper into winter, many of our neighbors need help.
Check Your Kitchen
Here's a suggestion. Why don't you check your own kitchen and donate any unopened food containers that you are not likely to consume. We will even take fruitcake.
Some of us actually like fruitcake and look forward to receiving it in December, even if others would rather use these gifts as doorstops or hockey pucks. If you belong to the latter group, why not give them to your local food pantry?
Do you have fruitcake in your cupboard that were received in recent weeks or placed there by the Ghost of Christmas Past? There is actually considerable nutrition in these desserts, and food donations are slow after the holidays, leaving community pantries scrambling to feed the hungry in each winter.
Do you have anything else that needs to be cleaned out of your cupboard? Fancy jellies and jams you received as gifts but probably will eat? Flavored coffee that is not your cup of tea? Most of us have food in our homes we will never eat--food that our neighbors need. This is a great time to go through your canned goods and give away anything that you are not going to use that is not dented, rusted, or otherwise inedible.
Do you have any of these that you are not going to use? Donations of baby food, infant formula. toiletries, personal care items, and shopping bags also are welcome.
Or did you receive a gift of clothing that does not suit you? The LICC and many other charities welcome donations of hats, scarves, gloves, mittens, and winter coats. And they will gladly take shopping bags to be reused by the guests to their pantries.
The LICC’s chaplains also are collecting unused Christmas cards and other greeting cards to distribute to inmates at the Nassau County Correctional Center. These can be sent or dropped off at our Hempstead office, in Christ’s 1st Presbyterian Church, 1644 Denton Green (opposite the Hempstead library), Monday through Friday, 9 to 4:30, our Freeport pantry (450 N. Main Street, 516-868-4989) Monday-Friday 10 to 4, our Riverhead office (407 Osborne Avenue at Lincoln, 631-727-2210) Monday-Friday 9:00 to 4:30.
Monetary donations for their emergency pantries are always welcome, of course, and you can purchase the items we most need this week through this site.
Thanks! And Happy New Year!
The Rev. Tom Goodhue, Executive Director of the Long Island Council of Churches