The assembly line of volunteers in an Albany warehouse made short work of the donations.
Within four hours, they had sorted through two tractor-trailer loads of food and supplies collected by Project Hope. The supplies were neatly packed away in boxes and then whisked out to trucks ready to take them to flood-affected areas throughout the Capital Region.
Some boxes contained pet food and other animal-care supplies for organizations caring for animals displaced by the floods. Others carried nonperishable food items that will help re-stock the dwindling supplies of area pantries.
For many of the outreach organizations, the re-stock couldn’t have come too soon. Flood victims living on shoestring budgets are increasingly relying on local pantries and churches to make ends meet as they try to recover.
“Their resources are really being tapped by the increased needs,” said Molly Miccio, a donor relations manager with United Way of the Greater Capital Region. “Because of the situation in the communities, people are really relying on the help now.”
The outreach effort began in mid-September with several Capital Region organizations sponsoring food drives to assist flood victims. Donations were set up by United Way, Proctors, the City Mission of Schenectady, The Daily Gazette and Hannaford Supermarkets.
The initial outreach was for non-perishable food and canned goods, laundry and dish detergent, bottled water, diapers and baby wipes, baby food, gift cards, paper towels and children’s DVDs.
But donors also took pets into consideration, giving enough supplies to fill a minivan with assorted care items.
The United Way then reached out to several organizations working within the devastated areas to find out exactly what they needed.
With a compilation of lists, Miccio put a group of volunteers together to sort through the items in a 3,500-square-foot Hannaford warehouse in Albany.
A large portion of the supplies was packed off to area pantries and outreach groups. The remaining donations were catalogued by Miccio, who will now reach out to other organizations working within the flooded areas.
“Now that the volunteers have sorted it, I have an inventory of what is left,” she said.
Of course, the flood recovery isn’t ending with the conclusion of the Project Hope drive. Miccio said the United Way and other organizations want to make it clear that more help is needed in the worst-affected areas of the Capital Region.
“There’s definitely a need and that’s something that we want to keep on the forefront,” she said, “These are long-term issues we’re going to be dealing with.”
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Categories: Schenectady County