|Parishioners from Our Lady of Perpetual Help assisted|
in the collection of 5,197 individual snacks for
children in need this summer which were donated
to the Windham Food Pantry. SUBMITTED PHOTO
After collecting over 2,500 snack items last year, organizers of “Operation Summer Snacks” didn’t know what to expect this year with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting communities across the state and country.
“In this time of uncertainty, we didn’t know whether this program would work this year,” said Jill Russell-Morey, a parish catechetical leader who helped create the initiative in 2016.
But uncertainly led to unrestrained generosity as the program was able to donate a staggering number of 5,197 individual snacks to the Windham Food Pantry.
“Thanks so much to all of our parishioners at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, friends and family members in the community, countless other supporters, and prayer warriors!” said Russell-Morey. “I can't express my gratitude and put it into words. This summer, we more than doubled our record year last summer. May all who helped be richly blessed for their support and efforts.”
“Operation Summer Snacks” works with the pantry to deliver the donations to those in need. Through the program, each child receives various individual-sized snacks like raisins, crackers, fruit cups, granola bars, and other items.
A big change this year was that the pantry requested that the donations not be bagged by the volunteers, which enabled the operation to be conducted by Russell-Morey, her family, and friends out of her house.
“They wanted all original packages which allows for less handling of the packages and easier storage,” she said.
In addition, the generosity of the community shone through with checks, cash, and Venmo donations. One parishioner even had a large box of snacks sent directly to Russell-Morey’s house from Sam’s Club.
“Our young friends in this community have reaped the benefits of this generosity and we are so thankful for the people responding to this call for what they have to provide people with what they need,” Russell-Morey said. <