By SHERIDAN CYR
At the Plainville Community Food Pantry, there is always something going on. Whether volunteers are sorting donated items, or staff are organizing community fundraisers and donation events, the team’s goal is to help as many Plainville residents as they can and ensure no one goes hungry or cold.
The summer season tends to be slow when it comes to donations, and PCFP goes into their own pockets to purchase items to give to residents in need. Right now, food items that are critically low include jelly and peanut butter, pasta sauce, hamburger helper, canned fruit, juice, cereal, canned pasta, rice pouches, boxed potatoes, canned meats, children’s snacks.
The food pantry offers more than food. They also collect non-food items like personal hygiene products, clothing, and paper items. Non-food items that are critically low include laundry detergent, cleaning products, shampoo, dish soap, toilet paper, paper towels, bath soap, deodorant, feminine products and trash bags.
“We really rely on the community’s donations, and we are so thankful for the help this town offers,” said Susie Woerz, the executive director of PCFP. “Plainville is so generous, and we could not do what we do without the help of our residents.”
From January to July of 2018, PCFP served over 2,500 Plainville residents. On average, they serve 137 males per month and 224 females. PCFP went from 10,664 donated food items in March to just 3,481 in July.
“Donations always slow down in the summer, then pick back up around the holidays,” said Woerz.
PCFP is an outreach agency that provides crisis intervention, referral services, food subsidies, clothing and energy assistance to families and individuals in need. There are many ways to help.
“It gives you a good feeling to help,” said PCFP volunteer Penny Williams. “There are a lot of people in town who need help. I think there is a misconception that Plainville is well-off and that donations aren’t needed.”
Williams has been volunteering with PCFP for just over a year, and agreed that this past summer has seen a decline in donations. There are several events coming up that the community is invited to that will help PCFP help others.
On Wednesday, Oct. 3, PCFP will partner with Northeast Produce, Inc. in the 8th annual Northeast Open Golf Tournament. A registration fee of $175 includes tee time, green fees with cart, giveaways, lunch on the course, lobster tail and steak dinner, a raw bar, full beverage package, raffle prizes and a 50/50 raffle.
On Oct. 15, PCFP will partner with Healthy Plainville to host free healthy crock pot cooking classes. From Nov. 16 to 20, there will be a “fill the truck” event at Gnazzo’s Food Center, and on Nov. 17, holiday baskets of traditional Thanksgiving food items will be distributed.
The Secret Santa program will begin soon, where children registered on the program submit “wish lists” which are distributed to the community. Wrapped gifts from Santa are returned to PCFP and given to parents the week before Christmas.
With the colder months coming, PCFP is collecting winter coats and other warm clothing. Keeping holidays in mind, the food pantry is also seeking holiday food items for their holiday baskets.
For more information about PCFP or to get involved, visit plainvillefoodpantry.org or call (860) 747-1919.