By MADDY VITALE
This year, the Ocean City community came together for a food drive with not only donations of hundreds of pounds of food, but also loads of necessities from paper goods to toiletries.
The Ocean City Board of Realtors (OCBOR) “Food Is Love, Share Some Love” winter food drive, in its 12th year, dropped off the many donations, which also included gift cards to food stores, to the Ecumenical Council Food Cupboard in Ocean City to provide for local residents and families.
“We were very blessed by generous donations this year,” said Gloria Votta, chairwoman of Community Services for the OCBOR. “People are so happy to be resuming their lives and were happy to give.”
This year, unlike some past years, the need for food items was not as great as the need for other items, Votta noted Tuesday.
“We asked for a few different personal items this year, including feminine hygiene products, tissues, deodorant, toothpaste and laundry detergent,” she said. “These are all things that are not covered by government assistance programs.”
Regina Ralston, coordinator of the Ecumenical Council Food Cupboard, said the Food Cupboard received about 250 pounds of food from the food drive.
Ralston said paper products, feminine items, detergent and shampoo and other toiletries are always needed, but especially this year.
“We received a lot,” Ralston said. “The community really answered the call for what we needed.”
In addition to the donations of food and other items, the OCBOR presented the Ecumenical Council with a check for $1,051 as well as $100 in gift cards to ShopRite and Acme.
While there are always generous contributions to the OCBOR food drive each year for the Food Cupboard, Ralston said the school district really came together to help out as well.
“One of the things that happened this year was that we had so much food donated from the intermediate and high schools,” Ralston said. “The kids were wonderful.”
Ralston said students donated hundreds of pounds of food.
“They really filled a niche. There was cereal, packs of crackers. There was so much food,” she added.
The foods and other necessities have filled the shelves of the Food Cupboard, she said.
Some of the items were dropped off at the Ecumenical Council’s Clothes Closet for people who come in to receive clothes and other items.
“They are the things people need, the lotions and soaps. People donated bottles of body lotion. It was very nice,” Ralston said.
And while the COVID-19 pandemic continues and gas prices rise while a war is going on in Ukraine, she noted that there may be a greater need.
“We may see some people who we have never seen before,” Ralston said. We have to help our local families cope with the higher prices. We are here to help people in these trying times.”
The Ecumenical Council Food Cupboard is located in St. Peter’s United Methodist Church, Eighth Street and Central Ave. For more information and hours of operation call 609-398-3191. The Ecumenical Council Clothes Closet is located at 555 West Ave. For more information call 609-398-1009.