FULTON, NY – Even though the grass is still green, members of Oswego County Opportunities’ Senior Services Program are already planning for another winter season.
Each year, with the help of caring businesses, organizations and community members, OCO’s Senior Nutrition Services Program prepares and distributes hundreds of ‘Blizzard Bags’ to seniors throughout Oswego County.
The ‘Blizzard Bags’ program provides OCO’s senior 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 bag contains an assortment of food items along with a note explaining the purpose of the bag and a cheery hello from the person who created the bag. Last winter more than 470 ‘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 sixth year, volunteer coordinator Christine Parks of OCO’s Senior 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.
The ‘Blizzard Bag’ program has been well received by both 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 senior 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,” she said. “We have received a generous support from the United Methodist Churches of Oswego County, led by Pastor Elyse Sciles this year already and many Girl Scout and Cub Scouts troops have returned this year and delivered their decorated filled blizzard bags ready to go out to our seniors. With all of this help from our community partners, this will be an awesome year for our home delivered seniors.”
They are currently accepting donations of food and paper bags for this year’s ‘Blizzard Bags.’ Look for the donation boxes in the front lobby in the Fulton office, at 239 Oneida St. or Mexico kitchen at 5871 Scenic Ave. or at any one of their eight Dining and Activity Centers.
Food items they are in need of include:
- Oatmeal packets
- Ramen noodles/soup packets
- Cereal bars
- Small packaged crackers
- Small packaged cookies
- Small juice bottles/juice boxes
- Hot cocoa packets
- Tea bags
- Hard candies
- Microwave dish or packets
- Fruit and pudding cups
- Can soups
OCO is also accepting donations of pet food so that they can offer Pet ‘Blizzard Bags’ for their seniors who have pets.
Since each ‘Blizzard Bag’ is individually prepared, labeled, and comes with a cheery note to brighten the recipient’s day and explain the purpose of the “Blizzard Bag.”
For more information on donating items or volunteering to assist with OCO’s ‘Blizzard Bag’ program, you may contact Parks at 598-4712 ext. 1807.
OCO offers more than 50 human service programs that serve more than 28,000 people each year. Operating in more than 80 locations throughout Oswego County, OCO’ workforce has more than 650 employees and 1,000 highly valued volunteers. A private, non-profit agency that is celebrating its 45th anniversary, OCO is committed to helping people, supporting communities, changing lives, and improving the quality of life for Oswego County residents. OCO, Inc., is a United Way of Greater Oswego County member agency. For more information, visit OCO’s website at www.oco.org