The Holiday Rush Begins: Updates on What Local Food Shelves Have and Need | News

WINDSOR/WINDHAM COUNTY, Vt., — Five local food shelves in the area have updates on what they have to donate to families and individuals in need, and what they need to replenish their shelves for the holidays and the winter months. The coming months are the highest in terms of demand for food and toiletry items. Their mission is to help families and anyone facing food insecurity.

Trish Paradis, Executive Director of the Springfield Family Center located in Springfield, Vermont commented in an email on their needs to keep the shelves up to date.

The SFC gives out 1,119 food boxes during the winter season, and gives 300 holiday boxes out during each holiday at a total of 43,679 pounds of stable food.

The Everyone Eats program serves 28, 184 people.

“It’s gearing up to be a very busy season and we could definitely use certain items,” Paradis wrote.

The SCF is looking for boxed stuffing, canned fruits, vegetables, and meats, canned soups, cranberry sauce, gravy packets, boxed cereal, oatmeal, juice, boxed macaroni and cheese, pastas and sauce, shelf stable milk and evaporated milk.

“Our catchment area is Springfield, North Springfield and the Baltimore area,” Paradis wrote.

Amanda Reed, Operations Coordinator, for Our Place in Bellows Falls, Vermont said they have been wrapping up their Thanksgiving holiday boxes with the exception of a real need for cranberry sauce and gravy which the pantry will have to buy to supplement donations.

“Right now we are looking for personal hygiene items, canned fruit and vegetables,” Reed said. “We can take any fresh eggs, dairy or vegetables available in the community.”

She also said large bottles of juice, cold and hot cereal are essentials for their community in need.

“We really need cranberry sauce and gravy to finish the holiday boxes,” Reed said.

The Our Place Food Pantry serves 70-90 people, in Bellows Falls, Rockingham, Cambridgeport Westminster, Saxtons River, Walpole and North Walpole, New Hampshire during this season.

The Black River Good Neighbor has a pantry that serves the Ludlow, Cavendish, Mount Holly, Belmont, Proctorsville and Plymouth area and regularly serves 35 to 50 people a month.

Director Krey Kellington said the pantry outreach is always looking for fresh food, coffee, hygienic items, oatmeal, cereal and large bottles of juice.

“We don’t do Thanksgiving boxes, but we have small turkey on hand and cranberry sauce and gravy are always staple during this season,” Kellington said.

The holiday food boxes serve a much larger number at four times as many needy families according to Kellington.

“We do a food box at Christmastime and gosh, that’s gotta be close to 200 people,” Kellington said. “It’s based on past years numbers which have been no less than 150 to 160 people.”

The West Windsor Food Pantry located in Proctorsville, Vermont serves the Windsor, Vermont area.

Diane Bennett, pantry director for the WWFP, said the pantry always desperately needs hygiene items because they are expensive and not as easily accessible as food for their clients.

We always need non-food items. These are the things our clients can’t buy with their EBT food cards.

“They need feminine products, toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet paper, laundry detergent,” Bennett said.

“We always really need meat,” Bennett said. “Because I spend funds to supplement those needs at Market Basket. We always try to make sure our funds go as far as possible.”

Updates on the needs of local pantries will continue through November.

For more information please visit the pantries websites.

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