Archive for Thursday, January 3, 2002

Pantry benefits from holidays

January 3, 2002

Despite many charities' dwindling donations since Sept. 11, which sparked interest in relief groups like the Red Cross, the cupboard wasn't bare this holiday season for one Eudora philanthropic organization.

The Ministerial Alliance's food pantry was overflowing, thanks to donations coming in around the holidays. Donations had been slow throughout much of the year.

Nearly 500 of the items came from Eudora High School students in a competition to see which class could donate the most items. This year the sophomores won.

Bonnie Neis, sponsor for the school's National Honor Society, one of the groups to sponsor the food drive, said it is a charitable cause the group tries to help each year.

"Last year it got very vicious," Neis said jokingly of the competition. "This year, I think what helped more than anything is some teachers were giving extra credit."

High school students aren't the only ones donating to the pantry, which distributes to hungry Eudorans year-round. Margie Coleman, chairwoman for the pantry housed at St. Paul United Church of Christ, said items have come in from groups like youth groups, Boy and Girl scouts, church groups and other organizations.

A group of Brownie Girl Scouts brought in sizeable donations one Saturday, Coleman said.

"I think there were seven girls," she said. "Gosh, they had a lot they collected."

Aside from the holiday season, Coleman said the pantry will get a lot of donations when the Girl Scouts collect in the spring.

"We've gotten several money gifts this season, and we get those periodically through the year," Coleman said.

Money gifts allow the beneficiaries of the pantry to shop at C&S Market for perishable items since the pantry only can handle non-perishable goods.

Donations are usually comprised of canned goods, which means other types of food are sometimes lacking.

"We need boxed things more than canned goods right now; cereals and Hamburger Helper-type things," Coleman said. "We get a lot of canned stuff. It seems like we go through the boxed things so much quicker."

Those wishing to donate can contact Coleman at 542-3382 or the Rev. Jane Ireland at St. Paul United Church of Christ, 542-2785. Donations can go beyond food, too, Coleman said, and can include items like paper towels and toilet paper that can help cash-strapped families.

"It helps in their budget," she said.

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