BAYONNE - The Rev. Rose Cohen Hassan, the manager of Social Services for the Windmill Alliance's H.I.G.H.W.A.Y.S. Program in Bayonne, is urging the community to come to the aid of the Bayonne's most needy families by donating food to the H.I.G.H.W.A.Y.S. Emergency Food Pantry.
"Right now, we are urgently in need of food donations. Despite all the donations we have been receiving, the pantry is empty again. We now need donations every week," said Rev. Rose.
Rev. Rose said that in the month of September, the program fed 230 people, an increase of nearly 100 more people than the average month.
In addition to the Emergency Food Pantry, H.I.G.H.W.A.Y.S. distributes food baskets to needy families for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thus far, nothing has been donated for these food baskets. However, applications from nearly 70 families have been received and many more are expected as the holidays near.
For the Emergency Food Pantry, all non-perishable food items are needed, as well as household items such as toilet paper and disposable diapers. For Thanksgiving, donations of turkeys, stuffing, yams, potatoes, cranberry sauce, and canned vegetables are welcome. For Christmas, hams, in addition to the above items, are needed.
All donations can be dropped off at H.I.G.H.W.A.Y.S., located at 184 Hobart Ave. in Bayonne. Turn off Broadway right under the bridge on to Linnet Street (H.I.G.H.W.A.Y.S. is on the corner of Linnet and Hobart).
H.I.G.H.W.A.Y.S. is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on the first Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (they will be open this Saturday, Nov. 5, and welcome your donations).
The Rev. Gregory G. Perez, the president of the Windmill Alliance, said that H.I.G.H.W.A.Y.S. also provides toys and clothes for children during the holidays.
"We are always particularly desperate for items for children 12 years of age and older," he said.
The Windmill Alliance Inc. began in 1985 as an interfaith collaboration of all the churches and synagogues in the community. The first program was the Windmill Center, and it started with three staff and nine developmentally disabled participants. Today, the Windmill Center serves nearly 40 participants a day. Other programs of the Windmill Alliance are the Supervised Apartments, which care for 14 developmentally challenged residents 24/7, and H.I.G.H.W.A.Y.S., the crisis intervention, counseling, emergency food pantry and thrift store program. If you would like information on volunteerism at H.I.G.H.W.A.Y.S., contact the Windmill Alliance office at (201) 858-4460.