Help put a Thanksgiving dinner on the table for those most in need by donating frozen turkeys and nonperishables to the First Congregational Church’s food drive this weekend.
There is always a pressing need for food donations when November comes around, said senior minister at the church Ann Ralosky. And similar to previous years, the church is teaming with the Community Food Bank of New Jersey for the food drive, which will help shelters throughout the state -- including Toni's Kitchen at St Luke’s Episcopal Church in Montclair.
However, unlike previous years, the effects of Hurricane Sandy have magnified the demand, said Ralosky. The power outages did more than just spoil food in people’s homes, food banks were also hit hard and lost large inventories of food.
“The storm and the power outages and all these things really did a number on the Community Food Bank,” said Ralosky. “They are needing to replenish their supply with just about everything.”
In addition to the bad economy, the storm and power outages have exasperated a growing problem of people struggling to put food on the table. Pantries are finding it “more and more challenging to keep up with the need,” said Ralosky.
“At food banks, we are seeing more and more folks and families needing supplements for their groceries -- people who we never thought were living on the edge like that,” said Ralosky.
The church has seen a steady increase in the number of donations during the Thanksgiving food drive every year, but Ralosky said optimistically the donation day could always be a bit busier.
Frozen turkeys and nonperishable food item item dropoffs are on Saturday, Nov. 17, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the church, located at 40 S. Fullerton Ave. Volunteers will be taking donations and loading trucks in the church’s parking lot on Plymouth Street.
Nonperishables can also be dropped off at the church any day this week between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Donations are also welcome.
A full listing of where the Community Food Bank will be taking donations can be found by visiting http://www.njfoodbank.org/_assets/2011/10/2012-Turkey-Drive.pdf.