by Patty Cheffey

With some help from the community, those who get help from the Palmyra Food Pantry will get some help at Christmas time too.

The Christmas Store will be open again this year, and again will cater to children from infant to about age 14, according to Penny Knochel.

“We are always in need of items for the Christmas store, but we always struggle with items for the teenagers,” she said. “And we don’t have as much stuff right now as we usually do, so we are in need.”

Boys and girls toys are always helpful, Knochel said, especially dolls, trucks, tractors, and basketballs, soccer balls and footballs for some of the older kids.

“We have items for infants, so it’s really for children about two to 13 or 14,” she added.

New stuffed animals are welcome, but Knochel said the store does not really need used ones.

“By the time we get them, most are pretty well used,” she said.

The Christmas Store will also take games, but stressed they really need to be kid-aged appropriate.

In addition, the store has plenty of hats, but they can always use gloves.

While it’s easier to purchase items for the younger children, Knochel noted the most difficult is for the older kids.

“Usually, we encourage those bath and body sets for both the girls and boys,” she said. “Colognes and perfumes sets are good too.”

The Palmyra Food Pantry has set out their buckets to collect items, but Knochel noted people have to pay attention to whether or not they are giving items to the Christmas Store at the food pantry or to Toys for Tots.

As always, cash donations are welcome, too, Knochel added.

“If anyone wants to just give a cash donation, we can go out and purchase toys,” she said, adding that any toy donation does not have to be an expensive toy.

Each child will be allowed at least one toy as well as a stuffed animal and a stocking, she said. 

Knochel added the food pantry has a few quilts this year, but the throws are nice gifts as well, especially for the older youth.

And while not necessarily for the Christmas Store, the Food Pantry is always in need of good, used children and young adult coats, Knochel said, adding the food pantry is not purchasing new coats this year.

Set up for the store is expected to take place Nov. 20 and will be open on Tuesdays, Nov. 26, Dec. 3, Dec. 10 and Dec. 17.

In addition, since the Palmyra Food Pantry will not be open Christmas Eve, but will be open Monday, Dec. 23, persons may get items at the Christmas Store that day.

Knochel also noted the food pantry will also not be open Tuesday, Dec. 31, but will be open on Monday, Dec. 30.