By Helen Klein
With one area food pantry low on supplies, a local organization is stepping up to the plate. The Bay Ridge Community Council (BRCC), through its Acts of Kindness Committee, has launched a packaged food drive to help replenish the food pantry at St. Andrew the Apostle Church. They are asking for donations of non-perishable foods to be brought to the group’s next meeting, which will be held Tuesday, March 25th, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Ephrem’s Auditorium, 7415 Fort Hamilton Parkway. “Lately, we’ve been getting more people because of the economy,” remarked parishioner Jane Kelly, who had worked on the food pantry for a number of years. Indeed, she said, among the clients are several homeless people, who are given food that can be eaten without being cooked. “We’ve always got a need for food,” stressed Don Cohen, the treasurer of the church’s St. Vincent de Paul Society, which runs the food pantry. Approximately 40 clients come on the third Tuesday of the month to collect bags of food, said Cohen. Depending on their need and the size of their family, they are given anywhere from one to four bags of non-perishable items, Cohen explained. For the most part, Cohen said, food at the pantry is donated by parishioners at the church, which is located at 6713 Ridge Boulevard. Supplies are augmented by purchases made using donations to the poor box, and from the money raised through an annual Christmas fair fundraiser. “We often have in our bulletin that the shelves are bare,” Cohen remarked. “We are grateful that the Bay Ridge Community Council is helping us out. It’s a wonderful thing they are doing and we will take it with open arms.” Cohen said that donations of food can also be brought to the parish house, when the rectory is open, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. The phone number at the parish house is 718-680-1010.