St. Eleanor Parish will be hosting a food drive Feb. 5-6 to benefit those in the greater-Collegeville area who are most in need. The drive is sponsored by the teens of the St. Eleanor Parish Youth Ministry.

“By hosting this drive, we hope that the less fortunate of our community will be able to benefit greatly from the generosity of those in the Collegeville area,” said Father Alessandro Giardini, parochial vicar at St. Eleanor Parish.

“Over one hundred young people will be volunteering their time on that weekend to help collect, check, organize, box and deliver the food donations. We hope that this service opportunity will both teach them the importance of service and to be grateful for all they have been blessed to receive.”

The 11th annual food drive will feature a drive-through drop-off of non-perishable food items that will allow for a contactless donation. Simply drive to the back parking lot of the church, follow the signs and a teenager will remove the donations from your vehicle.

Donations can be dropped off on Saturday, Feb. 5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday, Feb. 6 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. St. Eleanor Church located at 647 Locust Street in Collegeville, Montgomery County.

Suggested food items include: canned meats, fruits, vegetables and meals such as stews or chili; rice; soup; beans; peanut butter and jelly; boxed potatoes; boxed cereal; pancake mix and syrup; juice, coffee and tea; macaroni and cheese; pasta in any form; tomato sauce; condiments, salad dressings; desserts and snacks.

Donors also are asked to bring clean, empty and sturdy boxes.

Giant Supermarket of Limerick is donating 1,200 grocery bags for the collection.

The food will be donated to four local food pantries: the St. Vincent DePaul Society Food Pantry at St. Eleanor in Collegeville; the Daily Bread Food Pantry in Collegeville; Spring-Ford Project Outreach in Royersford and the St. Vincent DePaul Society Food Pantry at St. Mary Parish in Schwenksville.

The organizations continue to see needy local neighbors who rely on the generosity of the community for food assistance.

“It seems, more than ever, more people of our community are in need,” said Matt Kirsch, youth minister at St. Eleanor Parish. “By donating non-perishable food items to the drive-through food drive, members of the greater-Collegeville community can make a big difference in the lives of their neighbors in need.”

“Food donations can have significant positive impacts on families who are struggling to make ends meet especially in a time as trying as the one we are living through now,” said Cameron Gonteski, a young adult leader who volunteers with the St. Eleanor Parish Youth Ministry program.

The program offers spiritual, service and social opportunities for young people in grades seven to 12 in the greater Collegeville area, and all are welcome.

“Food donations can provide nourishment that enables a student to excel at school among his or her peers or helps a senior citizen offset expenses so she can afford her medication.”

Learn more about the food drive here.

The beneficiaries include:

— The St. Vincent de Paul Society, through with local parish groups or conferences including at St. Eleanor and St. Mary parishes, help those in need with material, moral and spiritual support, especially featuring home visitation. Currently more than 500 volunteers are involved throughout the Delaware Valley.

— The Daily Bread Community Food Pantry is the fourth largest food pantry in Montgomery County, serving approximately 250 families or 1,000 individuals each month. The pantry works to eliminate hunger in the Perkiomen area by providing residents in need with programs that provide food, promote the value of nutrition, increase self-sufficiency, and instill hope.

— Project Outreach was organized in 1983 by local pastors and laypersons in order to feed and serve the needy in the Spring-Ford area. As a result, two weekly food distribution sites were developed, one in Royersford and another in Spring City. Project Outreach, with the help of 26 area churches, continues to operate the food pantries and has added other programs that aid residents in crisis.