Helping the Helpers: Rescue Mission Seeks Food Donations as Demand Increases

Helping Hand Rescue Mission is looking for help. Because so many people have suddenly lost their jobs, far more residents are in need and food pantries are feeling the strain. And because of continuing supply chain problems, grocery stores often don’t have the same quantity of supplies.
 
“The whole supermarket ordering and shipping process was drastically affected. For example a store manager will order 1,000 units of product and only receive 600 when the truck comes,” the Rev. Kim Gambino said. “That is why many grocery stores have empty shelves and limited quantities of certain items. One store manager told me this will probably be the case for another five or six weeks.”
 

The mission needs to provide 250 bags of food each week, she said.

Over half of the families that the mission serves have  never come to the mission before for help.  “They are coming now because they are out of work, have paid their rent and bills for April, purchased a few items that they needed for their homes and are now two weeks with no income,” she said. “They  are discouraged and in need of food and supplies, but we are happy to be here to help.”
 
Supermarkets and retailers receive daily updates from their corporate offices telling them what items are limited or unavailable to order, she said.
 
 Gambino said the mission is ordering approximately $1,800 a week worth of dairy and paper products from one source and distributes that in just 2 1/2 days.
 
“We are purchasing $500/week in cleaning/hygiene supplies at a dollar store and $800-$1000/week in diapers wipes and formula,” she said. “Families  are asked to come every other week for groceries, once a month for cleaning/ hygiene supplies and twice a month for diapers.”
 
Since March 21, the mission has distributed 736 food parcels with an average weight of 40 pounds per parcel, or  33,120 pounds of food. That does not include the weight or perishables cleaning supplies, diapers etc.
 
The need remains great as the mission works with the Huntington Assembly of God and the group Friends of Huntington Station Latin Quarter, which have been distributing food and meals at the church.
 
Gambino said the Lidl grocery store has been particularly helpful. “They always seem to have a good amount of product but limit some of the amounts that any one person can buy, even for food pantries. “If you’re going to Lidl here are a few things that we could use for our pantry bags. Thank you as always for your support,” Gambino said.
 

Lidl Shopping List For HHRM

  • Canola oil/Vegetable Oil $1.39
  • Knorr Rice Sides $1.00
  • Taco Seasoning .89
  • Macaroni & Cheese .47/box
  • Frozen Chicken Drumsticks 48 oz. $3.79
  • Any Frozen Meats
  • Corn Flakes <$2/box
  • Other Cereals
  • Frozen Mixed Veggies .57
  • Other Frozen Veggies
  • Pasta .79/box
  • Pasta Sauce l $1.00/jar
  • Any canned. veggies/corn/beans
  • Jelly
  • Peanut Butter
Donations can be brought to the mission on Saturday from 10 till 1pm, And Tuesday through Friday from 10 AM till 1 PM. The mission address is  225 Broadway Huntington Station, 11746.
 

Suffolk Legislators Tom Donnelly and William “Doc” Spencer at a recent meal donation

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