WESTFIELD-Hundreds of Kiwanis clubs around the globe are tackling projects in their communities during Kiwanis One Day on Oct. 24, and for the Kiwanis Club of Westfield, they are conducting a food drive to benefit the Westfield Food Pantry.
“This is our first time doing a food drive in October,” said Amanda Brodkin, president, Kiwanis Club of Westfield. “We opted to do this event because our governing organization, Kiwanis International, is encouraging Kiwanis clubs worldwide to take on a one-day project.”
Brodkin noted that while clubs may be doing paint projects, trash clean ups, or bottle and can drives, the local club chose the food drive “because our club is concerned about food security for people in our area and we know the problem has been worsened by the COVID-19 crisis.”
Club members will have tables set up as a way of establishing some distance between the Kiwanis volunteers and donors.
“We will have cardboard boxes on the tables, into which donors will deposit their donations,” she said.
Brodkin is asking donors to deliver their items in bags – if possible – single-use grocery bags – to minimize contact.
“Volunteers will be wearing masks and gloves,” said Brodkin, adding, “We are asking donors to wear masks as well.”
The food drive is planned from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Little River Plaza at the corner of East Main Street and Little River Road.
“All nonperishable donations are welcome,” said Brodkin, noting that in particular, Thanksgiving items including stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy are “especially needed.”
“The Westfield Food Pantry has become a critical resource for area residents during the pandemic,” said Brodkin. “Kiwanis has supported the food pantry in the past, because we value the service the organization provides.”
Brodkin added that the drive is a “safe, easy, and convenient way for Westfield residents to help their neighbors in need.”
Brodkin is hopeful that donations will fill a van that is being loaned to them by the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Westfield.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused problems for many in our community,” she said. “With the holidays approaching, the Westfield Kiwanis Club wants to help the Westfield Food Pantry to support our neighbors in this trying time.”
Brodkin added that all donations will be placed in the van and delivered to the food pantry the same day.