WINSLOW — Organizers of a meals pantry are asking for financial donations, meals and volunteers because it experiences one other record-high month of demand for its companies.
On the second and fourth Thursday of every month, the Winslow Neighborhood Cabinet opens to round 220 individuals who roll as much as the car parking zone behind the Winslow Congregational Church to obtain a distribution of meals for his or her households. The 27 volunteers who work to fill orders have been serving 150 households final December.
That’s a 47% improve in households searching for help from the meals pantry. And with about 18 to twenty households becoming a member of that queue of automobiles down Lithgow Road every month, demand is ever-increasing, organizers say. So, too, are the pantry’s working prices.
A false impression in regards to the Winslow Neighborhood Cabinet, and meals pantries extra usually, is that they obtain donated meals without spending a dime, based on the cabinet’s operations supervisor, Bruce Bottigliere.
As a companion with the Good Shepherd Meals Financial institution based mostly in Auburn, Winslow’s pantry receives tens of hundreds of kilos of meals at a price of 16 cents a pound. And people prices add up. The Cabinet on Monday acquired 32,000 lbs. of meals from Good Shepherd. That’s over $5,000 spent on meals this week alone to feed all of the households it serves from 24 totally different cities. In August, the cabinet supplied over 80,000 lbs., at a price of slightly below $13,000.
Bottigliere stated that with extra funding, he may broaden his number of meals decisions, afford some higher-end merchandise and proceed offering an individualized service to every consumer. Whereas different pantries curate uniform, pre-packaged containers for shoppers, every automotive approaching the Cabinet is met by a volunteer, handed a two-page order type, and requested to “decide and select” the objects they need — from meat and contemporary produce to canine bones and toiletries.
Whereas folks wait for his or her orders to reach, they will decide just a few objects from the “free for all” desk on the middle of the car parking zone, stacked with scrub brushes for dishwashing, piles of contemporary baked treats from Hannaford’s, and a mountain of immediate Jell-O. Bottigliere hopes that by the point they depart, folks not solely have sufficient meals for the subsequent few hours or days, however for the 2 weeks earlier than they return to the cabinet once more.
“We delight ourselves on being totally different from different meals pantries,” he stated.
Jim Varney, 53, of Winslow, repeatedly visits the Cabinet on behalf of his mom who suffers with diabetes. Almost half of the Cabinet’s clients are, like Jim’s mom, over 60 years outdated. And people searching for help are battling the rising value of dwelling.
With the virus, rising gasoline costs earlier in the summertime and different pressures, “It’s been one factor after one other,” Varney stated.
The Cabinet’s help means, for a lot of, one much less stressor on households pressured to make trade-offs between lease or meals, electrical energy or warmth, gasoline or well being care.
Bottigliere is hoping the general public will donate to maintain the Cabinet well-stocked and well-staffed. Although the pantry places on month-to-month fundraising occasions, it’s recurring donations of cash, meals or volunteered time from companies and folks that can make sure the pantry can follow its ethos of by no means turning away a hungry particular person, he stated.
These considering making a recurring contribution can e-mail [email protected]
These wishing to make a one-time donation can mail a test, payable to Winslow Neighborhood Cabinet, to the Cabinet at 12 Lithgow St. in Winslow, 04901. Bank card or PayPal donations might be made by way of the hyperlink https://winslowucc.org/winslow-community-cupboard/