Tag Archives: Needy

Glendale food pantry runs out of food

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

The cupboard is bare at a Glendale food pantry.

The Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church is all out of food for Glendale’s needy, and the two women who run the pantry are asking residents to donate what they can.

“Everyday we hope people will come bring us food,” said Nancy Baer,  who along with Sister Margaret Raibaldi, runs the food pantry Monday through Thursday out of the church’s basement.

“This pantry has evolved over the years but our goal has always been to help the hungry,” Raibaldi said. “We never let people leave here hungry.”

While the church’s food stock often goes through low and high cycles, Baer and Sister Raibaldi said that this week’s low is worrying for them. They serve more than 100 families every week and a large group of single men, all of whom are from Glendale.

“We offer them what we can,” said Sister Raibaldi, but for this week what they have in store is a few pounds of whole wheat pasta and some canned vegetables that won’t make enough for one family meal.

The Catholic organization Knights of Columbus provides the Glendale pantry with hundreds of pounds of food during major holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving but for the rest of the year, the pantry depends on donations from the community and the nearby St. Pancras Church in Ridgewood.

Among the crowd favorites are macaroni and cheese and tuna.

“And we definitely wouldn’t turn away a chicken,” Baer said.

Anyone who wishes to donate can call (718) 821-3285.



A lending ear — and eyes — for the needy

| jlane@queenscourier.com


The need to help others seems to run in the Caiazza family.

Four months ago, Matthew Caiazza rounded up the community to help him send care packages to U.S. Marines serving in Afghanistan.

Now, twin brother Thomas, a life scout from Boy Scout Troop 139 in Howard Beach, is heading up his own plan to bring sight and sound to the less fortunate.

As part of his Eagle Scout Project, Caiazza’s goal is to collect and donate as many new and used eyeglasses and hearing aids as he can. So far, the 15-year-old has collected more than 75 items since his project began over the summer.

“I’m hoping to get a whole lot more, but it’s a big step to already have so many pairs,” Caiazza said. “I already know that these pairs are going to people who need them. Even if I got one, I would have been happy. That’s just another person out there who can hear and see now.”

To get the ball rolling, Caiazza teamed up with the Lions Club, an international volunteer service organization. Through the Lions Recycle for Sight program, donated eyeglasses and hearing aids are cleaned, sorted by prescription strength, packaged and sent to the needy in developing countries.

The idea stemmed from personal habits of his own family members.

“Everyone in my family wears glasses. When they get new pairs, they sort of just leave the old ones lying there,” Caiazza said. “I asked myself, ‘What could I do with everybody’s glasses that they’re not using anymore?’ I figured people around the world could use them.”

So far, Caiazza has spent several hours collecting at two local senior centers. He has also left donation boxes around the community.

The Caiazza parents couldn’t be more proud.

“He’s always looking to help people in need and this is very thoughtful and efficient,” said father Oscar. “He decided to do something helpful for the community and he’s been very aggressive in following up and looking for places to collect.”

On the success of both twins, mother Barbara said: “I’m really proud. They were able to accomplish all this at the age of 15.”

Thomas plans on collecting for a few more months before sending in his final set to the Lions Club. He will hold a collection at St. Helen’s Church on Sunday, October 16.

“It feels like a big step of maturity for me,” he said.