Local food pantry accepts donations for Thanksgiving

Your Place at the Table nonprofit serves area towns all year

Helping others at Thanksgiving is a given, but Your Place at the Table wants to help needy families all year.

Kristen Skrobanek, founder and director of the Mullica Hill nonprofit, started its food pantry with a mission to help needy families and individuals year round in designated service areas that include Mantua, East Greenwich, South Harrison and Elk townships.

“It’s important to give back throughout the year, not just during the holidays,” she said. “The families and seniors that we serve have some circumstances that are related to their health, and therefore there is an ongoing need.”

With support from the surrounding community, Your Place recently purchased a freezer for its location at Trinity Mullica Hill church on Cedar Road. It is used for the current frozen-turkey collection ahead of Thanksgiving. Frozen turkey dropoff will take place Sunday, Nov. 21, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“We would love some willing community partners to help us ‘Fill our Freezer,’” Skrobanek added. “This can be anything from frozen fruits and veggies to meat or bread.”

COVID has proved a challenge for charitable organizations and nonprofit food pantries because of necessary social distancing. But Your Place has thrived. Its pantry remained open with curbside pickup and help from “core volunteers.”

“We converted our storage over to shelves on wheels that has now led to Your Place at the Table being able to be set up similar to a grocery store, so the families can now pick their own food items,” Skrobanek explained.

“This has been an awesome next step for our program.”

After turkeys, then what? Your Place collects monetary and food donations all year with help from its volunteer staff. Current general food needs include rice, oatmeal, pasta sauce and canned chicken. More items can be found on the Your Place website at ypatt.org.

Skrobanek noted the importance of giving back to the community, even during the most unexpected seasons.

“We could not operate without the community, schools and local businesses’ support,” she said.