COLUMN: Restocking the pantry shelves

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer

At the beginning of the year, many of us have switched our focus from holiday happenings and checklists to new projects at home, new goals at work and settling back into a daily routine. By now, some of the things we did in the fall are out of sight and definitely out of mind.

As I was reading Becky Beall’s community column this week about Oak Mountain Mission Ministries, I was reminded of how easy it is to come out of the holiday season and not think about this and other organizations needing even more support now.

Oak Mountain Mission Ministries is a nonprofit organization that provides food, clothing, furniture and financial assistance to people in Shelby County and the Birmingham area.

The organization relies on volunteers’ service along with monetary donations and donations of food, clothing and household items to operate.

According to Assistant Director Dianne Cesario, Oak Mountain Missions starts to receive many food donations around September, but most of it is gone after the holidays.

Non-perishable food and financial support are the most requested forms of assistance at Oak Mountain Missions, so when the pantry’s shelves are bordering on bare, concern arises.

Even something as simple as a jar of peanut butter goes a long way in helping someone during a time of food insecurity.

Other food items Oak Mountain Missions always needs include: cereals, condiments, dried beans, canned meats, canned fruit and vegetables, canned or packaged soups, rice and pasta.

Toiletry items, such as toilet paper, toothpaste, soap and diapers, are always needed, too.

You can visit Oakmtnmissions.com to view full lists of donation needs in food and groceries, financial gifts, clothing, household items, and furniture and appliances—and to learn more about how the organization operates.

Last year, the estimated value of support Oak Mountain Mission provided was more than $1.7 million, according to the website. That’s no small impact.

I’m glad Becky wrote about this organization and brought awareness to its needs at this time of the year.

I hope we as a community can come together to meet them, now and in the future.