Ecumenical Council sponsors holiday baskets program

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:17

    WARWICK-Even in the best of times, there are those in our community who need the help of those more fortunate to feed their families, especially at the holidays. With Thanksgiving less than two weeks away, Michele Carter is gathering those on both sides of the economic divide. "We are welcoming those who need to be adopted and those who want to adopt," said Carter, in her first year running the Warwick Ecumenical Council's Holiday Food Basket Program. The program has been in existence for many years. The way it works is this: The council seeks people n either individuals, groups, families n to "adopt" a family in need in the Warwick community. The people who adopt, buy a Thanksgiving meal for their adopted family. At Christmas, gifts for children under age 18 are also included. The council gives guidelines for the meal but by no means are these limits. Instead, adoptive groups can include any types of food, in addition to their holiday meal, to make the gift basket even fuller. Cereal, peanut butter and jelly, canned vegetables and tuna, pasta, and macaroni and cheese are just some of the items suggested to fill out the basket. Anyone who feels in need for their holiday dinner can simply contact Carter or her co-coordinator, Barbara Olszewski, at the United Methodist Church on Forester Avenue and sign up to be adopted. While so far there have been fewer families signed up this year than last, Carter said there is a large number of senior citizens in need. "We have lots of senior citizens this year," Carter said. "They just don't have the money for both medicine and food. Also, there are more seniors in Warwick now than there ever were." Thus far, 100 families and seniors have requested help through the food basket program. And if people want to help but can't provide an entire meal for a needy family, they are encouraged to donate new toys or money to the Ecumenical Council. They may also volunteer their time on Tuesday, Nov. 23, and/or Wednesday, Dec. 22, to help collect and distribute baskets anytime between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. "We are always looking for help on the days that the baskets are delivered," said Carter. "Anyone wishing to adopt a family, to be adopted, or to help out can contact the council at 986-1030."