As one season of giving winds down another begins.
One Bronx community, through a collaborative effort, will be providing to those in need some holiday cheer.
Starting this Monday, November 30 and running through Thursday, December 18, local schools and businesses in conjunction with the 49th Precinct, will conduct the annual holiday food drive event.
Celebrating its tenth years, this holiday tradition is designed to feed many in the community who go hungry during the season and is organized by Joseph Thompson, 49th Precinct Community Council president.
Thompson noticed a lack of Christmas time food drives as most efforts are focused towards toy collection.
“While toys are nice for the holidays, people still have to eat on Christmas just like they have to on Thanksgiving,” said Thompson adding. “We said let’s go after donating food for the holiday instead and this community from day one has been very strong with this food drive. There is nothing too small to contribute to this cause.”
The 49th Precinct will work together with P.S. 83, P.S. 105, P.S. 108, Van Nest Academy, P.S. 481 the STEAM Bridge School, the Police Explorers and Cub Scout Pack 162 to aid this worthy cause.
In addition, turkey donations from Maestro’s Caterers, Kings Harbor Senior Center, the Bronx Muslim Center and F & J Pine Restaurant will be distributed to senior centers at Pelham Parkway Houses, Parkside Houses, Eastchester Gardens and Beth Abraham as part of this project.
“When you put all of the pieces together we will raise about 15,000 pounds of food to help feed the community during this holiday season,” said Thompson.
A leading contributor, P.S. 83, collected approximately 8,000 pounds of food last year as part of tradition aiding the community’s less fortunate residents.
P.S. 83 principal Brandon Muccino said canned food items and non-perishables can be dropped off at collection boxes stationed inside the entrances of P.S. 83’s main building on 950 Rhinelander Avenue and the school’s annex located at 1840 Bogart Avenue.
He added Thompson and the 49th Precinct are slated to collect the donations on Tuesday, December 22 at 10 a.m.
“Our students and parents are very enthusiastic in helping out the community during this holiday season and we are very proud and thankful for all that they contribute to this wonderful cause,” said Muccino.
Cub Scout Pack 162 collects goods outside Big Deal Supermarket on Morris Park Avenue, which also contributes food items to the drive.
The Cub Scout Pack 162 has collected 1,500 pounds of food in the past, said Thompson.
A P.S. 108 spokeswoman confirmed the Neill Avenue school and its students will participate in this year’s drive and anyone interested in donating canned foods and non-perishables are encouraged to drop them off inside P.S. 108’s main entrance.
The food will be stored inside the school until Thompson and the 49th Precinct pick up the donations.
Thompson said a majority of the food raised will be donated to the Bronx Jewish Community Council of Pelham Parkway’s food pantry and remaining quantities will stock the shelves of St. Lucy Church’s food pantry.
He added non-perishable and non-expired food items can be donated to the 49th Precinct located at 2121 Eastchester Road for this drive and added food vouchers can be given to the 49th Precinct Community Affairs Office.
Checks or money orders for the drive can be made out to 49th Pct. Community Council. Cash will not be accepted.