Readers Write: PW donors stock empty shelves at food pantry


On Tuesday, Aug. 6, I posted on my Facebook page the following: “Our shelves at Our Lady of Fatima food pantry are empty! Hi, Everyone. I hope that you are all having a wonderful summer!!! Unfortunately, during the summer it is difficult to keep our shelves stocked. We have more demand because the kids aren’t getting free breakfast and lunch at school and we have fewer donations because people are away and busy during the summer. If anyone would like to help us restock our pantry, we are in need of the following items: pasta sauce, cereal, canned or dried beans, canned tuna, canned salmon, canned chicken, sardines, anchovies, pancake mix, mayonnaise, canned veggies, canned fruit, oil and shelf stable milk (Parmalat). Please check expiration dates if you are bringing food from home. Food can be dropped off Monday-Thursday from 9-12 and 1-5 at 10 Cottonwood Road. Thanks in advance to the incredible Port community.”

I had no idea what was about to come!
I immediately began to receive messages, likes and shares on my post from people who wanted to help. It seemed as if every single person in Port was invested in helping out those who are less fortunate in our community. The office became busier than Penn Station at rush hour with people stopping by to drop off food. Orders were sent to us from Stop & Shop, bags full of groceries were dropped off, and checks were donated. In a matter of one day our shelves were filling up and by the following Monday we no longer had room on the shelves.
The generosity and love shown by the Port community has been overwhelming and a true blessing. My week was joyful as I was able to bask in the goodness of others. Our Lady of Fatima Parish Outreach is funded by the generous donations of people from within our community all year long. Churches, synagogues, civic groups and individuals support OLF Outreach in many different capacities. We could never serve the more than 85 families that are our clients in the Manorhaven and Manhasset Isle areas without everyone’s generous philanthropy.
The outpouring of love that I experienced these past few weeks will remain with me for a long time and has reminded me that the vast majority of people in this world are good. Thank you so much Port Washington for filling our shelves and our hearts. No words can express the gratitude on the faces of our clients when they came to get food and left with bags brimming. Tummies are now full and the community is elevated. I believe that this has been a blessing to everyone involved. As Mother Teresa said, “I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” Thank you Port Washington for coming together and for carrying out such a wonderful good deed.

Debbie Harari
Our Lady of Fatima Parish Outreach
Port Washington


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