Westchester County is launching its annual food drive next week.
The drive will take place June 22 and 23 and will involve collection locations in Larchmont and Mamaroneck (see attached pdf).
The drive is pushed by the county, which teams teams up with local municipalities to rally citizen participation. Donated food is then distributed to 181 local organizations, like soup kitchens, shelters and food pantries by Food Bank for Westchester or directly to a local food agency.
Donations made in Larchmont will go to the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Community Action Program (CAP). Donations made in Mamaroneck will go to Food Bank. Drop off locations are the Larchmont firehouse, 120 Larchmont Ave., and Village Hall at the Regatta, 123 Mamaroneck Ave., Mamaroneck. You can make donations elsewhere in the county as well (a list of locations is attached).
The county estimates that hunger is made worse during the summer months. A release from county officials stated the number of households requesting assistance from the emergency feeding network at Food Bank has gone up 22 percent in the last year.
Last year's two-day drive brought in more than 10,000 pounds of food, collected at 53 drop-off points throughout the county by a dozen municipalities and libraries and 11 county departments.
The most needed food items include the following:
Cereals: hot or cold (corn flakes, frosted flakes, fruit loops, oat meal, grits)]
Meats and high protein groups
- Canned meats: spam, ham, meat spread, beef stew, chicken, and corned beef
- Canned fish: tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel
- Canned or dry beans: kidney, lentils, butter beans, great northern, lima
- Canned soups: with beans, chicken, ham or beef
- Peanut butter
- Macaroni and cheese
- Canned ravioli
- Canned spaghetti & meat balls
- Drink mixes: iced tea, Kool Aid, Tang
- 100 percent juices in plastic bottle or can
- Milk: canned or powdered
- Canned juices
- Coffee or tea
- Hot chocolate
Fruits and vegetables
- Canned fruits
- Canned vegetables
- Canned spaghetti sauce
- Dried fruits: raisins, apricots, prunes
- Pasta and grains
- Rice: rice mixes and plain rice
Pasta: pasta mixes and plain pasta
If you are someone who needs help paying for food, you may qualify for food stamps and other benefits. Go to the Westchester County Department of Social Services to see if you qualify. You can find a local pantry or soup kitchen near you by viewing the Food Bank agency directory or calling the Food Bank at (914) 923-1100.