The 104th Precinct’s Glendale Civilian Observation Patrol is on the lookout for more than just bad guys this time of year – they’re searching for much-needed food to stock the shelves of the Sacred Heart Food Pantry.
The president of the civilian patrol, known as G-COP, Frank Kotnik, said the group will be collecting non-perishable goods, including canned foods, coffee, tea, household items such as toilet paper, and a variety of other products throughout the holiday season, all of which the organization will donate to the Sacred Heart Food Pantry.
Members will accept donations at their next meeting, Thursday, Nov. 14 at 8 p.m. at the Saint Pancras School at 69th Street and Myrtle Avenue in Glendale. For those who are unable to attend the meeting, they are always welcome to contact G-COP to arrange for donations by calling (718) 497-1500.
“There are a lot of people out there who need our help,” Kotnik said. “That’s why we do this more than once a year.”
G-COP has been sponsoring food drives for more than 25 years – but the help has been increasingly needed in recent years as families struggle under the weight of a floundering economy.
Sister Margaret Raibaldi, who runs the food pantry at Sacred Heart, said residents should give whatever they can.
“We need food, food, food – we’re very low,” said Raibaldi, whose pantry helps about 125 families in the area.
“Now I have people coming in tears saying, ‘My food stamps are going to be cut – what am I going to do now?’” she said.
Raibaldi said any kind of food is welcome – pasta, canned goods, soup, and macaroni are among a list of various goods that are often well-liked.
More and more people have turned to Sacred Heart in recent years for a leg up – and Raibaldo said there have also been individuals from places like Poland who are seeking help.
“Your heart just breaks for the whole thing,” she said.
The food pantry also accepts donations directly, and if residents wish to drop goods off, they may go to the rectory and ask for Sister Margaret.
Sacred Heart is located at 83-17 78th Ave. in Glendale.
By Anna Gustafson