The Rotary Club of South West Queens recently presented the Our Lady of Grace Food Pantry with a check from the proceeds of their Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser.
The Food Pantry, run entirely by volunteers from the area, is located in Howard Beach, and serves the people from the community. In charge are Jeanie Ruvolo and Cathy Pascarella under the guidance of Father Anthony Rucando, pastor of Our Lady of Grace Parish.
The Ministry started in 1985 and today serves approximately 112 area families by providing them with enough food to get them through the day: breakfast, lunch and dinner items. Ruvolo noted that occasionally they give out clothing, if they have it (however, they don’t have enough storage space to take in clothing donations too often). Ruvolo and her volunteers also put people in need in touch with other service agencies and organizations that can help them long- term.
The volunteers at the Ministry have seen a rise in the number of people seeking assistance as a result of the poor economy, noting that there are more recently unemployed and single mothers using the program.
The Ministry is open three days a week (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. According to Ruvolo, the Ministry’s greatest challenge is running out of items even though they get some help from United Way and City Harvest.
If you would like to join the Rotary Club of Southwest Queens and their efforts by putting “Service Above Self” by doing good works throughout the community, you can call 718-845-1429.