Officials at a local soup kitchen are asking the public to donate food for upcoming meals for the less fortunate.
Halina Jarvis, executive director at Loaves and Fishes said even though normally the community steps up during the holiday season, food donations are still needed.
“We always have many volunteers in December. I think it’s because everyone is in the spirit of the season – everyone wants to give. But it would be really great to have those volunteers spread throughout the year so we aren’t scrambling the rest of the year,” she said. “We are still looking for people who are willing to donate food – meat for our suppers that are coming up or even sandwich meat like bologna for our school programs.”
There are also a number of families Loaves and Fishes is helping this Christmas season.
“This is important to us because we don’t want to see any children without presents on Christmas morning. We have had some people really step up to the plate and we just had some community members here stuffing about 200 stockings to give out. That kind of thing is so appreciated and a little really goes a long way.”
She also added Loaves and Fishes is looking for individuals or businesses to partner with throughout the year.
“We are willing to take whatever anyone can give us – even if it’s $5. We can use whatever donations we get.”
Jarvis added the money that is donated goes to a variety of needs including the purchase of food hampers to give to families in need, to putting a woman and her children fleeing from a domestic violence situation in a hotel for the night.
“There really is a variety of needs so whatever situation comes up, we are able to help.”
In the New Year, Jarvis added Loaves and Fishes will also be offering a number of courses.
“We are going to be offering a budgeting course. We need to allow folks the opportunity to become financially literate. Learning to budget is something every single one of us can benefit from, but to a single mom who is living on a very fixed income, it’s especially important to know where every penny is going,” said Jarvis.
Meanwhile, a number of Christmas dinners are slated to be held at Loaves and Fishes. Dinners will take place on Dec. 10, 12, 14, 17, 19 and 21st. A Christmas lunch will be held on Dec. 24th as well.
“We are tremendously grateful for all the support we receive throughout the year. It’s very vital to our operation and without the community’s support, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.”