North County Pantries Are Stocked For Thanksgiving
Food pantries in the north county have been preparing for a Thanksgiving rush.
The Chautauqua County Rural Ministry and the Westfield Community Kitchen have been preparing for the Thanksgiving need for food in the local communities for the past few weeks. From getting donations and buying the rest to top off the need, they prepared and are ready for Thanksgiving.
The Rural Ministry has many providers that run their own food drives, such as St. Anthony’s Church in Fredonia, along with many other churches and organizations. Other solo or group donations are always accepted during this time of year as well, even if it is as simple as a can of corn. Bridget Majka, Director of Programs explained that they had so many donations this year that they only had to buy a little bit to top of the boxes to be given away.
“It’s definitely different from years past, before COVID of course, usually we have bins set up for people to choose what they want, but this year we could not do that,” she said. “So this year we decided to make up pre-packed boxes with a wide variety of foods that will be delivered.”
The Rural Ministry reported that the need for this Thanksgiving is very similar to those in years past, even though the weekly need has increased. This does not mean the Ministry was not busy though, as they packed about 100 boxes to deliver to those in need.
The Westfield Community Kitchen has been busy as well, having had a food distribution drive-through on Saturday, which held Thanksgiving related items.
Both organizations are also hosting Thanksgiving dinners, both completely free and they invite anybody who will be alone or in need this Thanksgiving to come pick up a free meal.
The Friendly Kitchen by the Ministry is hosting a take-out Thanksgiving dinner where community members can come pick up a hot meal for them and their families from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Westfield Community Kitchen is also hosting a takeout-style Thanksgiving dinner, where they will be handed out through the parking lot door on from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. today. Both events are free to anyone in the communities.
“We’re just very fortunate that we have people in our community that have money to give to us. I know that it’s a difficult time for us as well as the people that have lost their jobs,” Majka said. “To have people come together and come through to make sure that others have a nice Thanksgiving and are able to enjoy themselves is amazing. We’re very appreciative of it.”