Chamber steps up to aid Helping Hands food pantry
Shelves empty fast at the Reynoldsburg Helping Hands food pantry and all supplies are getting very low, according to director Janet Munjas.
"We have been spending a lot of money buying food at Aldi and Kroger and we don't get a break at those stores," Munjas said.
She said many people think of the food pantry during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, but that the need can be even greater during summer months.
"Summer is always a bad season for keeping the shelves filled," she said.
As far as specific needs, Munjas said, "We need everything."
This includes most canned and boxed food items that are not perishable, although, Munjas said, the pantry could use fresh vegetables and fruits, if people want to share the wealth from their gardens or farmers markets.
Needs include cereal, spaghetti sauce, spaghetti noodles, boxed potatoes and noodles, macaroni and cheese, canned soups of all kinds, canned spaghetti and baked beans, kidney beans, peanut butter and jelly, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste and pancake mix and syrup.
"We have plenty of canned green beans and corn, but could use canned carrots and mixed vegetables," she said.
She said the pantry's supply of personal-care items is also depleted, so toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap and other supplies are needed.
Items may be dropped off between 9:30 a.m. and noon on Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday at Helping Hands, 7356 E. Main St.
Mary Hudson, from the Reynoldsburg Area Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber is reaching out to help in the collection effort.
She said items for Helping Hands may also be left in collection boxes in various businesses around Reynoldsburg.
"We put collection boxes with the chamber of commerce logo into area businesses because we know the need for the food pantry is year-round," she said. "We have a collection box at Reynoldsburg City Hall, one in the school board office, at the chamber of commerce office and other locations."
The municipal building is at 7232 E. Main St. and the chamber office is at 1580 Brice Road.
Hudson said collection boxes have also been set up at First Service Federal Credit Union, 7610 E. Main St.; at Wesbanco, 1880 state Route 256; and at Beany's Automotive, 1673 Brice Road.
"Helping Hands is our hometown food pantry," Hudson said. "We feel it is important to help and we have the capacity to reach out to a lot of people. We hope the collection boxes will remind people that the need for the pantry is year-round."
Munjas said Helping Hands first opened in Reynoldsburg in 1958. She said it serves only residents of the Reynoldsburg school district.
Munjas is a former teacher at Graham Road and Rosehill elementary schools.