Though many people are still thinking about picking pumpkins and costumes for Halloween, members of the North Haven Food Council have their sights set on other upcoming holidays – Thanksgiving and Christmas – and those in need.
Last week, the Reverend Scott Morrow of the North Haven Congregational Church (NHCC) met with First Selectman Michael J. Freda to announce the commencement of the Churches of North Haven’s annual holiday food drive in support of the local food bank.
The annual food drive not only is the Food Council’s way of filling boxes for those in need for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it also helps stock the shelves of its food bank for the remainder of the year, according to NHCC’s secretary Nancy Estep.
“These holiday drives are essential because they’re our main drive for the food that sustains us throughout the year,” said Estep, who said there are some smaller drives at individual churches and by sports clubs at other points in the year that help, too.
There are several drop-off locations for those wishing to donate food (list of recommended items below) including the Food Pantry at the North Haven Congregational Church any weekday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and during regular business hours in the North Haven Town Hall lobby (18 Church St.) or the Town Hall Annex (5 Linsley St.) outside of the Community Services office.
to those in need with First Selectman Freda stating in a press release: “There are many families in Town that will benefit from the generosity and kindness of others during this holiday season.”
This year’s Thanksgiving collection runs until Nov. 12. Volunteers will pack the food boxes on Nov. 16 for delivery on Nov. 17. The Christmas collection then runs until Dec. 17 with the boxes being packed on Dec. 21. Those wishing to volunteer to pack boxes can come to North Haven Congregational Church at 7 p.m.
“It’s quite the assembly line,” said Estep, who noted that monetary donations are also accepted and used for turkeys and fresh produce. “The amount of food we get is phenomenal and the community is always behind us.”
Items Needed to Fill Holiday Food Boxes
- Boxed cake mixes/frosting mixes
- Pie fillings/pie crust mixes
- Baking needs (flour, salt, granulated sugar, etc.)
- Muffin/corn bread mixes
- Cans of beans
- Can of broth
- Cans of assorted soups
- Cans of fruit
- Boxed rice
- Pasta entrees
- Boxes of macaroni and cheese
- Boxed/canned potatoes
- Canned gravy
- Cans of assorted vegetables
- Olives and pickles
- Cranberry sauce
- Boxes of cereal (hot & cold)
- Canned tuna/other canned fish
- Jars of mayonnaise
- Jars of jelly
- Jars of peanut butter
- Boxes of pasta
- Jars of pasta sauce
- Cans of tomato sauce
- Coffee and tea
- Canned juices
- Powdered/canned milk
- Canned meals (chili, Spaghettios, etc.)
- Canned meat (ham, Spam, Treet, sliced meat in gravy, etc.)
- Canned tomatoes
- Canned sweet potatoes
- Bags and boxes of stuffing