By Christine Bryant
As the holidays draw nearer, local food banks are in need of donations to ensure no family is hungry.
Reynoldsburg Helping Hands is in need of non-perishable items to help provide holiday dinners for families in need during Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as throughout the winter. Items include canned vegetables like corn, green beans and mushroom soup, as well as other non-perishable foods like mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy and cereal.
“We desperately need food,” said Janet Munjas of Reynoldsburg Helping Hands. “The summer months have hit us hard. We don’t have any excess. We have enough on the shelves to get through a week.”
The pantry serves about 60 to 75 families each week, all of whom live within the Reynoldsburg City Schools district.
“We have wonderful clients in Reynoldsburg,” Munjas said. “Mostly they’re family-oriented people down on their luck. Illnesses have hit them hard, or they’ve lost a job.”
While she sees many families, Munjas says she also has seen an increase in the number of senior citizens in need of the help the pantry provides.
Though the small facility located in downtown Reynoldsburg does not have the capacity to store turkeys, between Nov. 1 and Christmas, Helping Hands will give each of the families it serves a $20 gift card to Kroger to purchase one, Munjas said.
Reynoldsburg Helping Hands is located at 7356 E. Main St., behind Prost. Donations may be dropped off between about 9:30 a.m. and noon Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Another Reynoldsburg organization, HEART Food Pantry, also is in need of donations, including monetary funding and volunteer help.
Located at 6475 E. Main St., Suite 126, the pantry serves the greater Reynoldsburg area, and is open Monday evenings, Wednesday afternoons, Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoons.
HEART Food Pantry also will provide another way to give this month. From 3:30-6 p.m. on Nov. 12, the organization will partner with Messiah Lutheran Church to hold a Fall Harvest Festival at the church, 1200 Waggoner Road.
The event will include a meal, music and silent auction with items that include a Disney package, behind-the-scenes Columbus Zoo package, sports tickets and gift baskets. The “Great Turkey Dinner” will include dinner, fixings and dessert, and eat in or carry out is available.
Tickets may be purchased at Messiah before or on the day of the dinner for $9 for adults and $5 for children. Kids younger than 5 are free.