Photo by Alyse Horn
Keith Olash, Michelle Maust and Ann George organize the cleaning supplies and fill take home bags for patrons of the Northside Common Ministries Food Pantry.
By Alyse Horn
On May 9, members and volunteers with the Allegheny Elks Lodge and Northside Common Ministries packed cleaning supplies and toiletries into take home bags for individuals that utilize the Northside Community Food Pantry.
Dubbed the Yellow Glove Project, the items in the bags were purchased by the Elks Lodge using a $10,000 Impact Grant from the Elks National Foundation, which the Lodge applied for and received at the beginning of the year.
Ann George, an Elk and volunteer at NSCM, said cleaning supplies are not covered by food stamps, so providing a bag of cleaning supplies “helps them extend their budget and doesn’t interfere with food pantry weigh in.”
Kathleen Olash, loyal knight at the Allegheny Elks Lodge, coordinates the efforts to receive national grants, and said the grant received from the national foundation is only given out to 63 Elks Lodges in the country. Olash said grant is to be used for connection Elks with the community and vice versa.
Impact grants are given out every year, but only a few new applications are chosen every year. Olash said if the Yellow Glove Project works out, the Allegheny Elks Lodge will have a greater chance of receiving the grant in the future and continuing its partnership with NSCM and the food pantry.
Jay Poliziani, director at NSCM, said the feedback has been “really good” from those who received a bag of cleaning supplies. A survey is placed in each bag, so the food pantry and the Elks are able to get a better grasp on what people need.
February was the first round of packaging cleaning supplies, with about 200 bags completed. Since then, George said some different products have been added or taken out.
Some of the items included in the second round of packaging were: sponges, cleaning rags, dish soap, and laundry detergent. It took about two hours to fill 200 take home bags.
The cleaning products were bought from Waltmire Pharmacy in Spring Garden. George said the Yellow Glove Project has been a great community effort to help those in need, and there will be at least two more rounds of packaging this year.