Etcetera - 11/18/10

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One way to support hungry families this holiday season is to sponsor a holiday dinner. Pantry Shelf is working to do just that. The food bank exists through the generosity of individual and organization donors and with support from Northwest Harvest, said the food bank's manager, Kate Clevenger Rambo.

All who come through Pantry Shelf's doors who are hungry are served at the site, located in the basement of First Presbyterian Church, 325 S. First St. They are open from 3-5 p.m. Mondays, and 1-3 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, Kate said.

Helpline refers most of its households, but Pantry Shelf is able to give food to others who may not qualify otherwise -- for example, those who can't afford a valid driver's license, or who have emergencies arise or their incomes can't be verified.

At this time of year, Pantry Shelf strives to give all households extra food to help with the holiday meal.

Kate drew up a grocery list to aid donors who want to help a hungry family have a Thanksgiving dinner. The list can be used to buy the traditional side dishes/desserts.

Pantry Shelf features short items for sponsoring churches by Kate on its Facebook page. "Other information about poverty and hunger in the United States is also posted as I come across it," she said.

The following list of foods will serve a family of four, (excluding meat): one 15-ounce can green beans and one 15-ounce can corn; one can whole berry cranberry sauce or one can jellied cranberry sauce; one box potato flakes or one 24-ounce can sweet potatoes/yams; one 16-ounce box of stuffing or one 16-ounce box pasta side dish; one gravy packet or one can broth or one jar of gravy; one jar of pickles or one can/jar of olives; one 24-ounce can pumpkin or one 24-ounce can fruit pie filling; pie crust or pie crust mix; one box gelatin or one box pudding. For more details, call 509-524-4169.

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Area schools are embracing the spirit of helping others through a variety of food drives and fundraisers. Blue Ridge Elementary staff and parents volunteered at the McDonald's Ninth Avenue restaurant on a recent Tuesday evening and raised $700 for the school's playground fund. "The managers commented on how enthusiastic our staff was and said that the first hour from 5-6 p.m. was the best hour a school has done in a long time," Principal Kim Doepker said in the Oct. 29 online Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review. "The families and community members came out to support our efforts."

Contact Annie Charnley Eveland at annieeveland@ or 526-8313.

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