By ERIN ROLL
With a week to go before Thanksgiving, the shelves at Human Needs Food Pantry were alarmingly bare of Thanksgiving foods.
So the staff put out an appeal for donations on social media Thursday morning. Donations soon began rolling in.
“What we’re hearing from most people is that the holiday came up so fast this year,” Mike Bruno, Human Needs’ director, said Thursday afternoon. But the donations that came in are definitely going to help, he said. “I’m confident that we’re going to meet everyone’s needs.”
As of 4:15 p.m., he said that Human Needs was in need of items such as instant mashed potatoes, pie crusts (either crust mix or store-bought ready made crusts) and pie filling.
On Sunday, the Montclair Bikery will hold its fifth annual turkey ride. Last year, the annual bike ride raised $22,000 and bought 238 turkeys for Human Needs.
Donations may be dropped off at Human Needs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday and Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, and all day Monday. The last day of distribution of food to clients will be Tuesday.
On Human Needs’ Facebook page, the pantry staff posted photos of donors arriving with carloads of donations, including a shipment accrued from Mountainside Hospital’s own staff-wide drive.
Bruno said that Human Needs often gets a long line of people outside their doors who haven’t already registered with the food pantry. So after the registered clients are attended to, the pantry will then invite the drop-in clients inside to be served. “We’ve been blessed enough to provide everyone with a turkey and all the things that go with it. Hopefully we’ll be able to continue that this year.”
He said that the response from the community to Thursday’s appeal was a testament to Human Needs’ outreach on social media. “Our social media has taken off tremendously,” he said. “I don’t go to the well that often, but when I do, people come running.”