They say they’re bonded by their passion for helping people in need.
And that’s why they, the women who make up the Temple Terrace Junior Woman’s Club, have decided to have their first food drive on May 18 to help fill the shelves of the St. Vincent de Paul Food Panty at Corpus Christi Church in Temple Terrace.
The objective is to collect enough nonperishable food and toiletry items to meet the needs of families throughout the summer.
“Last month we gave out 2188 pounds of food that served 79 families but March and April are slow months,” said Norma Gonzalez, a longtime volunteer at the food pantry on the church campus at 9715 N. 56th St. The pantry is open from 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturdays.
“In summer it gets very busy because the children are out of school and those who need it are not receiving free meals at school,” Gonzalez said.
The church ministry, she noted, has taken place for almost 30 years and is operated mainly by volunteers. In the summertime it’s common for congregational members to donate an average of $1,000 each year toward the purchase of food and other necessities to make up for the period’s typical shortfall of contributions.
“We’ve got a wonderful, wonderful group and we do it out of love,” Gonzalez said.
Corpus Christi’s food pantry coordinator Cheryl Tine said she feels the same way about the ladies in the women’s club who are putting together the food drive she believes will greatly benefit people in the Temple Terrace community.
“It’s incredibly generous of them and it’s so gratifying to be supported by the community as a whole,” Tine said.
Club members plan to drop off donation bags at the curbsides of homes the week of May 12 with attached flyers explaining the purpose of the drive and a list of acceptable items.
Contributions of canned fruit and vegetables, soups, dry pasta, cereal, peanut butter and jelly, and Jell-O are recommended. Additional items such as powdered milk, coffee, tea, soap, toilet paper and baby diapers will also be welcomed.
The club’s food drive coordinator Mindy DeVane stressed the importance of not including anything breakable.
“All the donations will stay in this community,” said DeVane, who also serves on the public issues committee.
Homeowners who do not get a donation bag may put their items in bags and leave them on the curb by 10 a.m. on the pick-up day, just as those who received them are being asked to do.
DeVane’s team of helpers from the public issue committee that also includes chairwoman Michele Holley, Karen Macaluso, Rebecca Cannella, Esther Ternival and Ruth Morris will collect and deliver the donations that same day.
Anita Long, president of the junior women’s club, said if it’s successful they’d like to make the food drive an annual event.
“I think it’s a wonderful project because we heard there is a great need in the summertime,” Long said. “And we hope we can help in a big way.”
Contact DeVane at (813) 988-3453 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.