EDITORIAL: Do your part to help pantry feed the needy

EDITORIAL: Cupboards nearly bare at Deacon’s Food Pantry.

   The cupboards are nearly bare at the Deacon’s Food Pantry.
   After a Christmas season in which the pantry received more than enough food donations, contributions have fallen off at a time when the pantry is experiencing a greater level of need.
   According to Susan Schneider-Baker, director of the pantry, the group is running low on just about everything, except for pasta, of which they have 300 pounds.
   About 55 families are served monthly by the food pantry. The pantry also saw about 10 walk-ins last month and also serves close to 30 senior citizens and single mothers a month. Reasons vary, but many who are served by the pantry find themselves in need because of a sudden loss of job or a health emergency. Others have mental health issues or are just unable to get by on their own.
   In all cases, these are our neighbors and they need our help.
   That’s why we are asking area residents to pick up a few extra items next time you head out to the grocery store and drop them by the food pantry.
   The pantry has a shopping list for anyone wishing to donate food:
   • Peanut butter and jelly, snack foods, pasta sauce, rice, noodles, Hamburger Helper, macaroni and cheese, bread, brownies, muffins and Parmalat milk.
   • Canned items such as baked beans, corn, vegetables, meats, potatoes, fruit, tomatoes and mixed vegetables.
   • Baking ingredients including cake mix, frosting, sugar and flower.
   • Beverages in plastic containers.
   The pantry also is in need of non-food items such as diapers, toothpaste and deodorant. These items are needed because they can’t be purchased with food stamps.
   The pantry also accepts monetary donations — checks should be made out to the South Brunswick Human Intervention Fund — and gift certificates to local food stores. But it is primarily concerned right now with filling its nearly empty cupboards.
   Donations to the Deacon’s Food Pantry can made by calling the Jamesburg Presbyterian Church at (732) 521-1711 Monday through Friday.
   Donations also can be dropped off at the church at 177 Gatzmer Ave., Jamesburg, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Packages can be dropped off or other arrangements can be made. Checks can be made to the Presbyterian Board of Deacons. The pantry is open to clients on the third Saturday of every month from 9 a.m. to noon.
   Please do your part.