Lake News Q&A with Chew Wanna Eat? DuBois Food Drive

Gail, you’ve been submitting your amazing recipes to The Lake News since the launch of the newspaper. Now you’re sponsoring a food drive. Can you tell us about yourself and what prompted you to start this food drive?

Hi, Cyndi, and thank you for having me today.  Telling you about myself could be a very long story so I’ll give you the short version.  I think currently, the most interesting is that I am an African Violet propagator, and sell my plants on ebay.  I am retired from a 22-year career in Real Estate, having my own office called Heritage Homes. As an avid cook and recipe developer I started Chew Wanna Eat? about 4 years ago.  I love sharing my own recipes and they are available on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and WordPress.

What are the details? Specifically, who does it benefit, what do they need and where can we drop off our donations?

I’ve always been a food donor advocate. I can’t stand the thought of people not having enough food to feed their families. I was very active in donations when we lived in upstate NY, and recently had the idea to run my first-ever food drive here in DuBois. We have a very large need. This is my community, and I want to help those who reside here.   

How much has been donated so far?

Currently we have received over $600 in checks, Martins gift cards, and cash. Regarding the cash, we collected $323.00 total and still have enough money for one more shopping trip. Bob and I watched the sale ads every week and purchased only those items. It really helped stretch the dollars.  The food was donated to the Salvation Army, which is open daily and has cold storage facilities. We purchase meat, as well as fresh vegetables, fruit, and boxed/canned items. We were able to purchase hams and all the sides for 4 Easter dinners.  A donation to the DuBois Food Pantry is also planned.

A generous neighbor donated a case of cereal and 6 large jars of peanut butter which isn’t included in the $600.  Another neighbor donated a check payable to the Salvation Army for $50. Ladies of the Lake are donating food this month, their members encouraged to bring food items to the next meeting.

We have a food donation box at the POA office, and it is starting to fill up.  We also have a box at Priority First Credit Union on Midway Dr.  Since we are acquainted with Principal Karrie Miller of Central Catholic Elementary, Middle, and High Schools, she was kind enough to allow us to put a box in each school.

Is there anything we shouldn’t donate?

Not really.  As long as it’s food, the Salvation Army has the facilities to store non-perishable food items as well as cold/freezer items.  I would love to let people know that once our vegetable gardens are producing any extra produce is accepted at the Salvation Army located at 119 S. Jared St in DuBois.  814-371-5320

What advice or tips would you give other Treasure Lake and DuBois residents with an urge to give back to our community? 

I am a firm believer in taking care of your own first.  Neighbors helping neighbors, paying it forward, etc.  If you think donating a couple of cans of vegetables isn’t going to make a difference, please think again.  If every family made this small donation it would add up quickly. There are many ways to help.  I ran a 50-50 drawing in LVL Trivia and will be doing it again when TL Trivia starts up again in July.  Kids can ask their friends, neighbors or relatives to donate.  Check your pantries.  If you have a lot of extras, we’ll take them!

If you belong to a club or organization that would like to collect food from its members, that would be a wonderful way to help.

Anything you feel we should know?

The truth of the matter is that no business wants our food donation boxes in their lobbies year-round, but I would love to collect food, grocery store gift cards and cash for the entire year, instead of just for April and part of May.  At any time, local residents are welcome to contact me through Chew Wanna Eat? in Facebook or throughThe Lake News, and we will make arrangements to collect their donations.  These are tax deductible donations, and if you are donating cash, we will get you a receipt.

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