I just received a very sad email from a friend who volunteers for the Pantry. I thought I would share some of the message with you, in the hopes that you could spread the word if you live in the Pottstown area:
".... just finished packing our food for distribution for the month of October. I have to tell you that in my 5 + years of volunteering for the food pantry I have never seen the shelves so bare. We are currently serving approx. 70 families. We continue to have 2 or 3 new families each month. The food we receive each month from the department of agriculture (what we call our State food) has decreased in the past couple of months. It is supposed to be considered a 3 day supply of food for our clients. Last month we only received peanut butter, apple sauce, cheddar cheese soup, juice, and a frozen meat. For the month of Oct. we received apple sauce, egg noodles, dried milk and peaches, orange juice and 1 meat. We are relying more than ever on the donated food to supplement what the state is giving us.
...if we had to pack for our Nov. distribution with what I have on the shelves the boxes would be very light. I would say we have about 2 months of vegetables and soups left. We try to give 4 cans of each out. We have a 1 month supply (each client only receiving 1 can or box) of the following: fruit, pasta, canned pasta, tuna, peanut butter, mac and cheese, beans, and Ramen noodles. We are completely out of breakfast items, jelly, desserts, and sides dishes. We have not had enough "luxury" items to hand out lately like toothpaste and soap. We have been purchasing our toilet paper and paper towels products for the last few months. We were fortunate to have a monterary donation from Grainger to help us with those items."
So I bet you are wondering what you can do to help out. Here are a few suggestions:
1) Make a food or monetary donation directly to the Pantry. It is suggested that you contact Mrs. Gilligan for the current need suggestion list and for contribution drop off arrangements. You can also drop off at the Pantry (lower level, off Urner St.) on the first Tuesday of the month during monthly distribution between 9-10 a.m.
2) Participate in the "Make a Difference Day." On Friday, October 1st (the unofficial kick-off) at the Owen J. Roberts High School Football game we will be collecting donations of non-perishable food, paper goods, personal care items as well as monetary donations to benefit the North Coventry Food Pantry. Collection boxes will be located at each gate. On Oct. 23rd is deemed "Make a Difference Day" in the OJR District. The will be an event at the middle school to collect food to benefit the North Coventry Food Pantry. Please check the school district website for additional information. Each school will be hosting a collection during the month.
I know I will be heading out to the grocery store tomorrow to pick up a few bags that I can donate. I will look for canned goods (you can sometimes get 10 for $10), and personal care items. I just know how fortunate I am to have food on my table 3 meals a day...no questions asked...it's always there for me. As a mother, I can't imagine putting my kids to bed at night without food in their bellies.
I hope you are able and willing to help out your community members with this effort and show some love and compassion for those in need.