Sunday, 14 March 2010 16:58

Food pantry accepting items, donations for Easter food baskets

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Holy Family Food Pantry in Springfield is preparing to provide dozens of families with Easter food baskets during the last days of the Lenten season.

“This is similar to what we do for families at Thanksgiving and Christmas,” said Janet Nelson, supervisor of the food pantry. “We are asking for donations from people who can help. We think we’ll be assisting around 160 families. In 2009 we assisted 166 families that were made up of 773 individuals.”

Baskets will contain items for a complete holiday meal for six to eight people along with about a week’s supply of groceries. Nelson said people will also be asked to donate extras such as Easter candy, Easter egg dye kits and holiday treats, napkins and decorations.

“Some people also put gift cards in there,” she said.

To adopt a family, call Holy Family Food Pantry at (217) 523-2450 before March 26

The pantry is always in need of staples like cereal, pancake mixes, syrup, canned vegetables, peanut butter, jelly, canned fruit, spaghetti sauce and noodles, macaroni and cheese, boxed potatoes and paper items such as tissues, toilet paper and paper towels. Some people prefer to give monetary donations so that Holy Family volunteers can go out and do the shopping, Nelson said.

Additionally this Lent, Knights of Columbus Council 364 is holding an “all-you-can-eat” benefit breakfast for the Holy Family Food Pantry, set for Sunday, March 14 from 8 a.m. to noon at 2200 Meadowbrook Road (off Iles Avenue) on Springfield’s far west side.

The Knights are also holding a raffle for $200 cash. Tickets are one for $1 or six for $5. All proceeds go to the Holy Family Food Pantry and will multiply through the Feinstein Foundation Challenge. The Feinstein Foundation is dedicated to the alleviation of hunger, the importance of community service in education and the values of caring, compassion and brotherhood.

Food baskets can be dropped off at the Holy Family Food Pantry at 1023 E. Washington in Springfield from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 23; or from 8 a.m. to noon from Wednesday, March 24 thru Friday, March 26. Baskets will be distributed from March 29-31.

“The Catholic Charities’ mission is to ‘extend to all the healing and empowering presence of Jesus,’” Nelson said. “I believe that some people would find this a good way to go through the Lenten journey.”

For more information or to pledge to adopt a family and receive a complete list of what to put in the Easter food basket, call Janet Nelson at (217) 523-2450 prior to March 26. People who might know of a needy family who could use assistance this Easter should call Nelson with that request as soon as possible. Monetary donations can be sent to Catholic Charities Programs, 1023 E. Washington, Springfield, IL  62703.