FULTON, NY – Even though the grass is still green and the weather’s mild, members of Oswego County Opportunities’ Nutrition Services are already planning for another winter season.
Each year, with the help of caring businesses, organizations and community members, OCO’s Nutrition Services prepares and distributes hundreds of ‘Blizzard Bags’ to home delivered clients throughout Oswego County.
The ‘Blizzard Bags’ program provides OCO’s clients with an emergency supply of food in the event that they are unable to receive their regular home delivered meal due to inclement weather conditions.
Each ‘Blizzard Bag’ is individually prepared and labeled and contains an assortment of food items along with a friendly note to brighten the recipient’s day and explain the purpose of the ‘Blizzard Bag.’
Last winter, more than 500 ‘Blizzard Bags’ were delivered to OCO’s home delivered meal clients with another 100 distributed to clients at OCO’s dining and activity sites.
With the ‘Blizzard Bag’ project entering its eighth year OCO’s Nutrition Services is looking forward to expanding the program and has already begun soliciting donations and volunteers to ensure that the program will be ready to go when the snow starts to fly.
“Our ‘Blizzard Bag’ program has been well received by both our clients and the community. Thanks to the generous donations we receive from local grocery stores, concerned community members, service groups and our own OCO employees, we are able to ensure that our clients will have a nutritious meal on hand in the event that winter weather prevents the home delivery of their meal or if they are unable to visit one of our dining and activity sites,” said volunteer coordinator Christine Parks.
Parks added that they have already received generous support from the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of Oswego County.
“Many troops are returning this year to once again participate in our Blizzard Bag project. Additionally, many elementary school students throughout Oswego County are decorating the bags, making cards and ornaments for inclusion in the blizzard bags. The students enjoy being a part of this community project. With all of this help from our community partners, this will be an awesome year for our home delivered clients,” said Parks.
OCO is currently accepting donations of food and paper bags for this year’s ‘Blizzard Bags.’
Donation boxes can be found in the lobby OCO’s main office, at 239 Oneida St., Fulton; OCO’s Nutrition Services site at 5871 Scenic Ave., Mexico; or at any of OCO’s eight Dining and Activity Centers.
Food items in need of include:
Ramen noodles/soup packets
Small Packaged crackers
Small Packaged cookies
Small juice bottles/juice boxes
Hot Cocoa packets
Microwave dish or packets
Fruit and pudding cups
Small can soups
OCO is also accepting donations of pet food so that they can offer Pet ‘Blizzard Bags’ for their clients who have pets.
For more information on donating items or volunteering to assist with OCO’s ‘Blizzard Bag’ program, contact Parks at 315-598-4712 ext. 1807 or visit www.oco.org
A private, non-profit agency, OCO touches the lives of more than 30,000 people each year through more than 50 programs operating in more than 80 locations throughout Oswego County.
The agency, which is a United Way of Greater Oswego County member, employs more than 650 people and has more than 1,200 highly valued volunteers.
For more information, visit www.oco.org