All Faiths Food Bank Food Drive
It's the holiday season and times are tight for so many. As a volunteer at Caritas, a food pantry staffed by volunteers from a variety of churches here in Sarasota, I have seen first-hand how important the food charities in Sarasota are. There is such a variety of people who come up to the window in need of food--some are just having a rough month and need some supplements to ensure their kids don't go hungry, and there are some people who come up who are truly destitute and living on the street. A heartbreaking situation I recently saw was a young man who was clearly homeless, who was elated to get a can of corn that had a pop-top. He asked me for a plastic spoon and the proceeded to devour the room-temperature canned corn right on the street, he was that hungry. I see people from all walks of life, colors, ages, and abilities come to the window, and it's my honor to be working with such a great organization to help give them a bit of food, beverages, and sometimes even toiletries.
The graphic below shows what is most needed and came straight from All Faiths Food Bank, who provides the food for Caritas. If you have extra (unexpired) food that's been in your pantry, you hit a BOGO at Publix, or see a great deal at Costco when you're doing your shopping leading up to your holiday feast and want to get a little extra, please let me know if I can swing by and pick it up. And I will say this: while All Faiths asks for no salt and no sugar-added, as bare as our cupboards can get when there is high demand, we will take whatever you'd like to donate, just please make sure it's not expired and isn't dented.
Also, some of the most-requested items I have personally heard requested are:
- Toothbrushes, toothpaste
- Bars of soap, shampoo, conditioner (Have you been hoarding hotel amenities? We will take them!)
- Treats for the kids (i.e. Jell-o cups, granola bars, and other snacks that don't necessarily fall into "health food" but aren't total junk)
- Cans of soup, stew, or pasta (preferably with a pop-top since not everyone has a can opener)
- Instant coffee (just not in glass)
- Sardines (!)
If you'd like to arrange a pick-up, please call or text me at (941) 504-7260 to schedule. I'll be doing pick-ups December 11-22 and no amount is too big or small. And if you would rather make a monetary contribution, please feel free to donate directly to All Faiths--it really is a great organization!
I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and may you stay happy and healthy.