The Free Library of Springfield Township will be holding its first food drive in collaboration with Garden of Health Inc. in an effort to aid low-income families.
The Free Library of Springfield Township will be holding its first food drive in collaboration with Garden of Health Inc. in an effort to provide low-income families across Montgomery County with a healthy dose of food security.
The library, located in Springfield Township’s Wyndmoor section, will be collecting food items for the drive until Aug. 25 and is open for anyone to take part in and donate. Residents can drop off items within the library’s hours of operation, which are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Organizers are asking, in particular, for healthy food.
And the donations have already started coming in.
“We’ve got a couple of grocery bags full so far,” said Amy Ambler, head of youth services at Springfield Library. “I’m glad to see people are taking the time, because these items are typically more expensive than your average food drive items. Healthier choices, organic food options, and dietary specific [items]: people have definitely been paying attention to that and giving us those products.”
Garden of Health Inc. is a North Wales-based food bank whose work revolves around granting Montgomery and Bucks County families in need healthy and safe food options, including those with dietary restrictions.
“The more healthy food we can provide, we’re reducing the health effects for low-income families,” said Carol Bauer, executive director of Garden of Health Inc. “If the only choice is to buy high processed, high sugar, or high sodium foods, or to get those foods at local food pantries, then we’re not only feeding them but we’re feeding them foods that are also causing medical issues.”
Springfield’s library is one of 12 libraries that are currently holding food drives in coordination with Garden of Health.
Food items can be dropped off in the donation box marked with the Garden of Health logo inside the library. After it’s all collected at the end of the month, it will be taken back to Garden of Health’s warehouse and distributed to families who are food insecure across the county, according to Bauer.
“The summer months are really difficult. There aren’t a lot of donations that come in during summers because families are on vacations, kids are out of school, routines are different,” said Ambler. “It was really important to [start these] drives over the summer so that we can have food for families going into the fall and late summer months.”
Making it less likely that low-income families will have to deal with future health issues is at the root of their motivation.
“We all know that if we eat healthily and reduce the amount of highly processed foods, then our health is better. And if our health is better, we’ll get sick less, the kids will miss less school, the parents will miss less work, and then they’ll be able to get back on their feet quicker,” said Ambler.
Their work with food drives is far from new, and they have held drives at numerous other sites in the past, including churches and local businesses. Springfield’s library agreed to be a collection site when they were asked to join this bigger cause.
“A library is certainly a nice place to have a drop-off box like this because it is a community place; it’s often seen as a place that welcomes everybody, and everyone has access to it,” Ambler said. “It’s also a nice way to show our support for not only our local community but for our county-wide community as well.”