Nelson Twp. – Nelson-Garrettsville Community Cupboard (NGCC) will soon take over the food operations of The People Tree, effective in February. The cupboard is an outreach of the United Methodist Church working in conjunction with The People Tree. They are neighbors helping neighbors to shut the door on hunger in their community.

Earlier this year Mike Elias and trustee Joe Leonard thought the community needed a food bank and pursued the issue. The Nelson United Methodist Church jumped on board with Elias and Leonard and soon the food cupboard idea was starting to take shape.

The group worked at finding a place to house the cupboard and after researching the idea, Rafael Rodriguez offered them a room at Isaac Mills on the circle in Nelson.

The group enlisted the help of the local Boy Scout troop and their families as they began to clean out a room to house the food cupboard. The room was cleaned and still needs shelving before it will become the home of the cupboard, but it is well on its way.

NGCC is partnering with the Akron-Canton Food Bank and will work through the 211 First Call for Help. The First Call for Help will assist folks with getting assistance. Folks will need to call the 211 First Call prior to coming to the food cupboard. All residents who live in the James A. Garfield School system are eligible for services. Those in need will need to provide proof of residency.

The food cupboard will provide food on an emergency basis to eligible families in our community. The NGCC is a member of the Akron-Canton Food Bank which can help coordinate with other social agencies which are designed to meet more long term needs. NGCC is not a federally funded agency. They operate solely on contributions received from the community. The cupboard relies on the generosity and kindness of neighbors for donations of food or money. They are always looking for volunteers as well.

The community needs to be assured that although they have partnered with the People Tree, this holiday season’s distributions through the People Tree will go on as usual. The NGCC Food Cupboard will not take over the food operations  of the People Tree until February. The People Tree isn’t going anywhere, they are just shifting the food distribution to the NGCC Food Cupboard. The other services that The People Tree offers will continue as they have  in the past. Again, I reiterate that The People Tree will run as it has through this holiday season.

The items the food cupboard is looking for are: all canned goods especially tuna, stews, soups; they also need pasta, pasta sauces, peanut butter, jelly, cereal, juices, paper towels, facial tissue, toilet paper, laundry soap, dish detergent, body soap, garbage bags postage stamps and empty cardboard boxes and plastic grocery bags. If you can help them they would appreciate it. It will take the entire community working together to make this venture a success.

The food cupboard is planning an all-you-can-eat  spaghetti dinner on December 30, 2011 from 4pm – 7pm at the community house in Nelson. All proceeds will benefit the food cupboard.

Information about the food cupboard can be directed to Mike Elias 330 527-9930. Monetary donations can be sent to P.O. Box 210 Garrettsville, Oh 44231. Make checks payable to NGCC. All donations are tax deductible.