Keep the less fortunate in mind over holidays
November 30, 2012 4:16PM
Updated: January 4, 2013 6:07AM
With the Christmas season upon us, many of us are busy thinking about the gifts we have to buy, the gatherings we have to plan and the cards we have to write and send.
Minooka community policing officer Denis Tatgenhorst is asking if we have given thought to the people who have lost jobs and are trying to put food on the table for their families.
To help stock local food pantries, the Minooka Police Department is again holding its annual Project Share to collect non-perishable food items. Project Share began back in 2008.
The number of families that use food pantries increases every day, Tatgenhorst said, and to keep up with the demand food drives are extremely important.
The police department works with Minooka grade schools, Harris, Private and Standard banks in Minooka, Macy’s and Electrolux, who collect food from employees, students, staff and other community members.
One delivery has already been made to the Minooka Bible Church’s food pantry. About 1,100 boxes were taken in that trip.
“We had two minivans full, three deep in boxes each,” Tatgenhorst said.
The next round will go to Minooka United Methodist Church food pantry.
Minooka Bible Church supplied about 290 families with food baskets for Thanksgiving. The non-perishable foods collected through Project Share supplement the baskets and provide food that families need on a daily basis.
“We look for food that will make a meal,” Tatgenhorst said. “Like macaroni and cheese, soups, pancake mix, pasta dinners and cereals. Not just one deal meals.”
They also need canned fruits, vegetables, spaghetti sauces, noodles and peanut butter and jelly.
Minooka Bible pantry serves anywhere from 250 to 300 area people a month, he said. The Minooka United Methodist pantry serves about 70 people twice a month on a regular basis.
The Northern Illinois Food Bank offers food at reduced prices to the pantries, and food donations are also received from Jewel.
Residents can make food donations at any of the Minooka grade schools — so send a food item to school with your child — the businesses listed and at the Minooka Police Department through Dec. 14.
A truck will be accepting donations during Christmas on Mondamin, which will be from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday in downtown Minooka.
Last year, more than 2,500 pounds of non-perishable food was collected through Project Share.
“We hope this year will be even better,” Tatgenhorst said.
Police officers, including Police Chief Justin Meyers, helped retrieve the donations and then spent time sorting the food at Minooka Intermediate School.
“It’s a group effort of all our police officers,” said Tatgenhorst. “It’s for the community.”
Tatgenhorst also wants to remind people that the fire and police departments and the grade schools are collecting new, unwrapped gifts for Toys for Tots and can also be brought to Christmas on Mondamin.
Reach Kris Stadalsky at email@example.com.