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Identity & Community

Food Pantry Uses Amazon to Make Donating Easier

The largest food pantry in the region has added another way to donate in the hopes of reaching a wider group of would-be givers. A group of volunteers set up an Amazon Wish List for Northside Food Pantry and selections can be shipped directly to the facility. It’s been up for about a year and has been successful.

“Almost every day, there’s a UPS truck coming here with boxes full of groceries for our pantry that are off of the Amazon Wish List,” said Jay Poliziani, director of Northside Common Ministries and the Pantry.

Traditional food drives, drop-offs and cash donations are still the norm, but Poliziani said adding one more avenue could open the door to people who may not otherwise donate.

“A lot of the younger demographic are not so inclined to do the typical food drive that churches hold where they carry the groceries from the grocery store to the church and then the church distributes it to us, they’re more connected to social media and the web,” he said.

Other food pantries in the region and beyond have used Amazon wish lists in the past, but most of them were last updated years ago. This list is updated on a weekly basis and reflects some of the most-needed items.

“There’s always need for things like toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, folks don’t realize that those things are not something that people can access with their food stamps or their access card, they’re not approved items, and they can be fairly expensive,” said Poliziani. “There’s also always a need for canned fruit, and also this time of year cereal is kind of high.”

The Northside Food Pantry serves about 1,000 families a month, and even in November and December. Poliziani said the addition of Amazon giving has helped it meet demand. The link to the wish list can be found on the pantry’s website.

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