Community Food & Wellness Maplewood South Orange

Help Keep the OLS Food Pantry Stocked for the Summer

The following message is from Maplewood resident and community organizer Marie McGehee:

This summer please join me in an effort to keep the Our Lady of Sorrows food pantry stocked. If you are unfamiliar, the Our Lady of Sorrows food pantry is located in South Orange and serves approximately 100 to 150 patrons weekly. Many of the patrons live right here in our community.
With the school year quickly coming to an end, the summer months are a critical time for the food pantry as many of their donors are away for the summer. However, the need to serve does not go away.
So, I would love your help with collecting the following items.
  • Bagged or boxed rice
  • Shelf stable milk  (canned, powdered or boxed)
  • Peanut butter
  • Low-sugar cereal
  • Low-sugar veggies
  • Fresh produce (only on Fridays please)
  • Brown paper bags with handles
  • Plastic shopping bags (e.g. from King’s)
THE GOAL
The goal is to collect a minimum of 1,500 items this summer, which given the incredible generosity of this community, is very achievable. My hope is that we surpass this goal.
COLLECTION DATES
Starting now through Labor Day, but don’t delay…act now 🙂
DROP OFF LOCATION
8 Carleton CT, Maplewood. On the front porch.
DROP OFF HOURS
Monday through Friday from 6pm to 9pm
PERISHABLE ITEMS
If you have perishable items, like fresh fruit and veggies, please drop off these items at my house on Fridays after 5pm only.
For example, items from local farmers markets are great.
CAN I DROP OFF AT THE FOOD PANTRY?
Yes, of course. For additional background, I am spearheading this summer food drive in partnership with Togetherhood at the South Mountain YMCA. Togetherhood is the YMCA’s community outreach program where they take on projects to support local initiatives outside of the Y.
If you choose to donate your items to the food pantry, just let the team know that your donation is part of the South Mountain YMCA Togetherhood project to help the OLS Food Pantry summer food drive.
CAN KIDS HELP?
Absolutely. Here are some initial ideas.
Grades pre-k through grade 2, could host a lemonade stand and the proceeds could be used to purchase needed items and dropped off. You could also visit a farmer’s market and have them pick out items.**
Grades 3 through 5 could also host a lemonade stand or work with an adult to host a bake sale. Your children could also collect items through their summer camp.**
Grades 6 – 12 could host a bake sale, a car wash or if they would like to volunteer at the food pantry, let me know and I will put you in touch with Kate Cahill the executive director.**
**Note: if your children decide to participate in any such related activities, they must do so with consent of their parent or legal guardian and under the direct supervision of their parents and legal guardians.
SUMMER BLOCK PARTIES
Also, I know that many neighborhoods throughout SOMA host summer  block parties. If you live in one of those neighborhoods, consider asking guests to donate at least one of the items on the list.
If you are aware of a scheduled block party, please lmk and we will reach out to the organizers.
Finally, attached is a flyer that Madison made. Feel free to share with your networks on Facebook and ask them to PM me for more details.
REMINDERS
I will send periodic reminders and updates throughout the summer so is you wish to add someone to the distribution list or would like to be removed, let me know either way.
Thanks everyone!
Let’s make this a summer of giving in SOMA. It will help feed so many right here in our two towns.
Warmly,
Marie

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