Artpark volunteers seek fourth go-aroundby jmaloni
by Joshua Maloni
Volunteers representing the food pantries at Heart, Love and Soul, Community Missions and Ransomville Methodist Church again seek to collect donations outside of Artpark before "Tuesday in the Park" concerts. They asked the Village of Lewiston Board of Trustees for permission at Monday's work session.
"For the past three years, people have been very generous; very happy to contribute. It's been a very successful project," team leader Mamie Simonson said. In 2011, the food pantries divided food and $10,700 in cash donations.
"Unfortunately, we keep getting more and more people to the soup kitchen," said Community Missions' Don Luce. His organization provided more than 68,000 meals to those in need last year. "We've had a major increase in the number of people in our homeless shelter. These are hard times."
"It's meant a great deal to us," said Sister Beth Brosmer of Heart & Soul. Her not-for-profit provided an average of 350 bags of groceries per month to the less fortunate in 2011. That number rose to 437 last month.
"The need is great; it continues to grow," she said.
"We're extremely grateful ... it helped us tremendously," said Ransomville Care and Share's Joanne Whitney.
Mayor Terry Collesano asked Village of Lewiston Police Commissioner Al Soluri if the Lewiston Police Department noted any problems last year with the collection process.
"We saw no problems at all," Soluri said.
With the volunteers located on the South Fourth Street sidewalks - instead of on the road - "I do not see a problem," he said.
Trustees will vote on the request at their Feb. 21 meeting.