The United Church of Marco Island’s (UCMI) “On a Roll” toilet paper drive for Our Daily Bread Food Pantry (ODBFP) was a huge success. In three weeks, UCMI collected 1,235 pounds of toilet paper donated by members of its congregation.
The “On A Roll” toilet paper drive was the innovative idea of Linda James of UCMI. She is also a volunteer at Our Daily Bread Food Pantry. Linda is part of UCMI’s Mission’s Committee and during a meeting with the ladies from the Food Pantry, she realized that the purchase of non-food items such as toilet paper, is a big chunk of the Food Pantry’s budget. From this information, UCMI’s Mission’s Committee named their new campaign “On a Roll.”
According to Liz Pecora, of the ODBFP, the “On a Roll” initiative will be a tremendous help in stocking the shelves and allows the Food Pantry to spend money on other items for families in need.”
Though the “On a Roll” campaign is officially over, UCMI collects all year for the Food Pantry and every few months they come up with a new idea for a food drive. According to Linda, people love the Buy One Get One Free Publix Sale and when they buy a jar of peanut butter, they keep one for themselves and one for the Food Pantry. She is hoping people will remember to add toilet paper to the list. UCMI has bins in the church for donations to the Food Pantry and also a bin inside the office for collection during the weekdays.
Linda James has been a volunteer with the Food Pantry since it began in 2016 and remembered when they only had two shelves and 11 bags of groceries. She also recalled making birthday bundles because she found out that the children of a few families did not celebrate their birthdays with a birthday cake or a birthday party. Linda could not stand to have a little kid not have a birthday cake.
Linda’s birthday bundles included a disposable cake pan, a cake mix, a tub of icing, a package of sprinkles, cake candles, birthday napkins, balloons, a birthday card and each bundle said Boy or Girl. The birthday bundle was given to families with children who are ten or under. Sadly, it had to be discontinued as the Food Pantry grew along with the number of guests.
Last year, UCMI had a non-perishable food collection where you brought in a food item that started with the first letter of your First Name or your Last Name. If your name was Sarah, you could bring in spaghetti or soup. People had fun trying to bring unique food items and UCMI collected almost 9000 pounds of food. For this campaign people started referring to Linda as “Lima Bean Linda.”
Our Daily Bread Food Pantry is open on the second and fourth Saturday of the month from 10 AM to noon, with weekly mobile pantry service throughout our community. The Pantry is located at 1450 Winterberry Drive, Marco Island. Food donations may be dropped off at the 24-hour drop-off box behind the building. For more information, please visit www.ourdailybreadfoodpantry.com.