Letter: How you can help– the annual ‘zucchini letter’

To the editor:

Here we go again…It’s the “zucchini letter.” It’s time for the gardeners and non-gardeners alike to help the people and agencies who serve our most needy. I always bring my excess veggies along with non-perishable food products and other needed items such as paper goods and coffee to the agencies listed below.

Bristol is truly “all heart” when it comes to our generosity. I can’t say enough good things about all of the agencies below, their leadership and their paid and unpaid staff. Can you drop by and leave a gift card? Bus cards? Donate your old furniture? Buy some extra paper goods when you are at the store? I you can, please do. Our neighbors need our help.

Here are most of the community agencies and organizations with addresses and phone numbers. Many also can be found on Facebook. I’ve included their needs beyond produce. When you visit, bring snacks for clients and volunteers, plastic bags for “shoppers” to use at the food pantries. Do you have gently used clean towels? Bedding? How about volunteering some time?

IMPORTANT: If you go to St. Vincent De Paul, you need to go to the left side where there’s a buzzer. For Brian’s Angels drop-offs, they are on the right side of the entrance near the banner.

St. Vincent DePaul Shelter– (860)589-9098 – 19 Jacobs St. — Bus passes (always needed). Earplugs (it’s loud in the dorms.) Toasters, large bath towels, extra long twin sheets, dish towels (to dry dishes), gift cards to grocery stores – marked “specifically for kitchen use,” Home Depot gift cards for maintenance, body wash for men and women.

The cook needs: mayonnaise, Spaghetti-o’s, canned tomato sauce (not spaghetti sauce), chicken broth, salad dressings (Italian and ranch), fresh lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, instant white rice, dry onion soup mix, canned sauerkraut, spicy brown mustard, canned tomato paste, shredded cheese and mozzarella and powdered drink mixes.

Salvation Army—  (860)583-4651 – 19 Stearns St. – Fresh veggies and fruits, shampoo, deodorant, rice, pasta, canned veggies and soups, canned meats, peanut butter, jelly and non-perishables, Cremora, coffee, diapers, Depends, toiletries, paper goods. Also, back to school items: notebooks, pencils, pens, glue sticks, folders.

Zion Lutheran Soup Kitchen— (860)589-7744 – 27 Judd St. Drop off fruits, veggies and baked goods from Monday through Thursday only. Non-perishable food of all kinds, tuna, peanut butter, jelly, paper bowls and coffee. Grocery store gift cards (Shop-Rite, Stop and Shop, etc.) are always appreciated.

Brian’s Angels: Message or text Pat Stebbins at (860)995–6858 – She can use paper towels, anti-bacterial cleaning wipes, Kleenex, Off! Bug spray, Chef Boyardee pasta, Progresso soups, 8 x 10 tarps, good condition men’s and women’s sneakers and sandals, umbrellas, potato chips. The Cooling Center at St. Vincent De Paul will be open this summer for folks who have nowhere to go during the day. They need: sneakers, shorts, tanks and t-shirts, other summer clothing, too. Pat is looking for tents and sleeping bags as well.

For Goodness Sake– (860)916–7138 – 273 Riverside Avenue – They collect any household items for families who are moving into their own homes. No produce please. They always need volunteers to help move furniture and organize donations and snacks for volunteers. Contact them at info@forgoodnessake.org or donate on Saturday between 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. and Sunday 12 to 3 p.m.

Christian Fellowship Center— (860)589-0662– 43 Prospect St.– Drop off Tuesday through Friday- 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. but the food pantry is on Wednesday, so drop fresh fruit and veggies on Tuesday. Also need clean plastic grocery bags, soda (for their volunteers), non-perishable goods (including canned gravy and vegetables) and everything for a kitchen – dishwashing liquid, paper towels, cleanser, etc. They always need volunteers and they do have a clothes pantry as well.

Daar Ul Eshaan Blessed Pantry – (860)585–9742 – 739 Terryville Ave. They will only accept fresh veggies and vegetarian offerings. Contact them directly regarding dropping off donations.

Last year, we had a phenomenal response. Please share this information with friends. You can post it on your fridge or keep it with your grocery list. Thanks.

Laura S. Minor