The Seneca County House of Concern prepared food baskets to 85 families around the county for Thanksgiving. The baskets were made possible by a number of churches, civic organizations and volunteers who donated both the food and the time to fill the baskets at the HOC headquarters on State Street.
Turkeys were provided by Foodlink, local churches divided a list of a variety of foods like stuffing, vegetables, condiments and pies to fill the baskets; civic organizations held food drives, and a number of volunteers came to fill the baskets.
The agency is facing the highest need in its 44 year history at the same time as cuts in funding have hit hard and SNAP recipients have seen their monthly allotment of money for food cut. Most SNAP recipients are elderly, disabled or children and the number of elderly folks needing assistance from the House of Concern has nearly doubled in recent months.
The House of Concern is a not for profit agency and donations are tax deductible. The HOC is a partner agency of the United Way of Seneca County.
Area food pantries and thrift stores are delighted to receive good, usable household goods. The donations of such items not only help the consumers who cannot afford to pay full retail, but the income from the sale of these items helps pay for the heat and lights and often leaves some funds left over to purchase much needed food.
But using the drop-off points as an alternative to taking unusable items to the landfill only creates headaches for the agencies. Places like the Seneca Falls House of Concern have limited employees and volunteers, and having them spend time and gas money to haul unusable items away puts a strain on the agency’s resources. In addition, although many service agencies have bins or a shed where donors can leave items protected from the elements, many donors simply leave their items outside on the sidewalk where they can be damaged by weather.
Here are some tips for making donations:
1. Bring your donated items during regular hours when the agency is open if at all possible.
2. If you have large items, call ahead.
3. Only bring any items that are not broken, damaged or otherwise unusable.
4. Do not bring non-working electronic devices of any kind.
5. Put items inside the bin or storage shed.
6. If you think it might be trash, it probably is trash. Take it to the dump.
Disclosure: Seneca Daily News Publisher Stephen Beals serves on the Board of the Seneca County House of Concern.