WINDHAM – “Operation Summer Snacks,” an initiative of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Windham, annually collects food for children in need who receive bags of food from the “Backpackers” program during the school year but, in many cases, do not have the snacks during the summer.

“This is the seventh year we will be collecting snacks for the Windham Food Pantry,” said Jill Russell-Morey, who helped launch the program in 2016. “As many families still continue to struggle, especially with the pandemic’s impact over the past few years, it’s crucial we continue to support our neighbors and help fight food insecurity in the community.”

One thing the pandemic did not impact was the incredible generosity shown toward “Operation Summer Snacks” by the wider community. In fact, it’s doubled.

“In 2019, the initiative collected over 2,500 snack items, but in 2020, in the middle of a pandemic, over 5,600 snacks were donated,” said Jill. “Last year, the total was again around 5,000 snacks. We were able to help support those receiving food for the senior drive-ins at the pantry as well. So, in helping to feed our youngest friends in town, we were able to help feed our older friends.” 

If you are able, “Operation Summer Snacks” is requesting the following items for donation this summer (listed below). Donations can be dropped off at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church on 919 Roosevelt Trail in Windham through August. You can also have items picked up from your house by calling Jill at 207-317-0383 or emailing her at Organizers can arrange the pickup to be contactless if you prefer.

“Interested people can also have donations directly shipped to my house from Walmart and Sam’s Club,” said Jill. “We receive several donations that way each year.”

Cash, checks, and Venmo are also accepted by “Operation Summer Snacks” which continues to grow in size, scope, and impact each summer.

“The community we live in is amazing and the parishioners and supporters always help when needed,” said Jill. “The Holy Spirit continues to touch and work through people which provides great hope.”

Requested donations (please buy individually wrapped packages):

  • applesauce pouches/containers
  • cracker packs (Nabisco, Ritz, Goldfish, etc.)
  • fruit cups (Dole, etc.)
  • raisin boxes/packets
  • granola bars
  • pretzel packs
  • juice pouches/boxes (Minute Maid, Capri Sun, etc.)
  • cereal bars, breakfast biscuits (Nutri-Grain, Belvita, etc.)
  • non-perishable pudding cups (Hunt’s, etc.)
  • popcorn/snack puffs (SkinnyPop, Smartfood, Pirate’s Booty, etc.)
  • gluten free and/or nut free snacks for those with food sensitivities