WOBURN - The Council of Social Concern's Food Pantry is preparing to coordinate the Annual Holiday Food Project for people in need who reside in Woburn and Winchester.

"This is truly a community effort, and we invite your participation," says Paula Matthews, Director of the Food Pantry at the Council of Social Concern.

"Last year, we distributed a combined total of over 400 Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets for struggling local individuals and families. It is the generosity of our donors and volunteers that make this project possible. Many of you have been actively involved in this holiday event for years. We deeply appreciate your past support and look forward to working with you this year to provide another bright and hopeful holiday season for our 'neighbors in need.'"

There are a variety of ways for are residents to be a part of this project and all of them are important.

A recent letter to supporters suggests, "please read them over, choose how you would like to help and follow the instructions for A, B, C, D or E."

"On behalf of those we serve, thank you for joining us in our mission of 'Neighbors Helping Neighbors,'" a letter to supporters of the organization from Paula Matthews recently stated.

Opportunities

A. Conduct a Food and/or Gift Card Drive. If you have a food drive, please call Paula Matthews at (781) 935-6495 ext. 208 to schedule delivery. A list of needed food items is as follows.

B. For Thanksgiving: Prepare one or more Thanksgiving Food Baskets for a family and bring it to the Council of Social Concern. They will then be distribute to a family. Call Paula at (781) 935-6495 ext. 208 to request a Thanksgiving basket donation packet.

Those interested can leave a voicemail message with their name, organization, address, phone number, and how many baskets they wish to prepare.

You can also email this information to paula@socialconcern.org. You will then be mailed a packet that will include a basket number, a list of food items to include in the basket, and a drop off date and time.

C. For Christmas: the food pantry will distribute supermarket gift cards to people at their regular December appointments. Instead of preparing food baskets, it is request that those interested donate $10, $20 or $30 gift cards to local supermarkets.

D. Help with miscellaneous duties as needed at the Food Pantry. Please call Julia at 781- 935-6495, ext. 232 or email julia@socialconcern.org to sign up.

(Opportunities to help are varied during the holiday season and will up verv quickly)

E. Deliver Holiday Food Baskets on Monday, November 22nd and/or Monday, December 20th. Those interested should be familiar with the Woburn and/or Winchester area.

Teams of two volunteers will be arranged. Each team will deliver 6-8 Holiday Food Baskets, weighing approximately 20 pounds each, along with a chicken or turkey, weighing up to 18 pounds. Delivery times will begin at 9 a.m. and will be staggered to facilitate the loading process.

Staff members and volunteers will be on hand-to assisting in loading the vehicle.. Please call Julia at 781-935-6495, ext. 232 to volunteer. More information will be sent to those who sign up.

Packets of volunteer opportunities are also ailable for children ages 12 and younger to choose an activity that is age appropriate for the holiday season.

Please call 781-935-6495 and ask either Julia or the receptionist to mail out a packet.

The following is a food drive list only

***Non-Perishable Food Only

- No produce or meats***

Holiday Food Drive

donation list

The following is a list of food items needed by the Food Pantry to keep the shelves stocked for the holiday. Please distribute this list to all who are involved in your Holiday Food Drive:

- FRUIT JUICE

(APPLE, CRANBERRY OR GRAPE)

- LARGE BOXES OF INSTANT MASHED POTATOES

- STUFFING MIXES

- RICE AND RICE PREPARATION MIXES

- CANS OF GREEN BEANS

- CANS OF PEAS

- CANS OF CORNS

- JARS OF TURKEY

AND CHICKEN GRAVY

- CANS OF CRANBERRY SAUCE

- CANS OF FRUIT

- CANS OF CHICKEN BROTH

- BREAD, CAKE AND BROWNIE MIXES JELLO AND PUDDING

- COOKIES, NUTS, CRACKERS

- COFFEE, TEA AND HOT CHOCOLATE

- $25.00 GIFT CARDS TO A LOCAL SUPERMARKET

The Council of Social Concern is a charitable, community-based agency, responding to the basic needs of people of all ages, providing early education and care, helping individuals develop their potential, creating positive family and community relationships.

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