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Ocean City Board of Realtors “Share Love” With Food Drive

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The Ocean City Board of Realtors Food Drive is underway through the end of the month. (Photo courtesy of Gloria Votta)

By MADDY VITALE

The Ocean City Board of Realtors (OCBOR) has kicked off its “Food Is Love, Share Some Love” winter food drive that will not only help people in need, but also benefit shelter animals.

For a second year in a row, the OCBOR expanded the food drive to include donations to help the animals at the Humane Society of Ocean City (HSOC). Donations through the board’s community services project are being collected now through Feb. 29.

“Share Some Love this winter for families and animals in need. We encourage our realtor family, friends and neighbors to donate items for the residents of Ocean City and the Humane Society of Ocean City,” said Gloria Votta, chair of the OCBOR’s Community Services Committee.

Votta also emphasized how thankful the board is to the community for being generous year after year.

The Food Is Love, Share Some Love winter food drive, now in its 14th year, is collecting non-perishable food items, laundry and dish detergent, as well as ShopRite and Acme gift cards, which will be donated to the Ecumenical Council Food Cupboard to provide for local needy families.

The food cupboard, which is located in St. Peter’s United Methodist Church, provides a wide assortment of foods and supplies year-round to those in need.

Votta, who has been in charge of the food drive since it began, said it makes her “feel good” to help the community. She said that the board was happy to extend the donation drive to include HSOC for a second year, and will certainly do so for 2025 as well.

Phil Bellucci, HSOC operations manager, said Friday that HSOC is grateful to the OCBOR.

“We are incredibly thankful to our Ocean City Board of Realtors for their continued support of the work we do here at HSOC and our mission to save lives and find amazing animals their forever homes,” he said.

He continued, “Many people do not even know our Barn by the Bay exists, so not only does this drive by OCBOR raise much needed donations of food, supplies and money for the shelter, it also creates awareness to us, and our cause in the Ocean City community and beyond.”

Regina Ralston, coordinator of the Ecumenical Council Food Cupboard, displays a single-serving meal, something needed in this year’s food drive.

Like in all of the food and donation drives the board has participated in over the years, Votta said nonperishables are always needed.

However, she emphasized that this year with more single people in need in the resort, single-serving food donations are badly needed.

“There are a lot of single people, mostly seniors, who run short and could use some cereal or other foods,” Votta said.

Small jars of peanut butter and jelly and single meals are appreciated, too, she said.

“We always need more of the canned foods for single servings. We always need more powdered milk,” Votta said. “It is something you can’t find. And smaller jars of things like peanut butter and jelly are needed.”

She also said that since some of those in need live in rooming houses in the city, they don’t have stoves, so microwavable meals are a good option when thinking about donating to the food drive.

“They only have a microwave. That’s why we ask for the microwavable dishes. Hormel dinners are good single meals,” she added. “You need to think of things that don’t need to be refrigerated and can be microwaved.”

After the food drive ends, realtors get together, pack up all of the items and deliver them to the Ecumenical Council Food Cupboard and the animal shelter.

Donations for the animals at the shelter, which is located at 1 Shelter Road off Tennessee Avenue, includes food, blankets and cleaning supplies for the workers at the shelter.

Residents can drop off donations of non-perishable food and household items (or gift cards to local grocery stores) at the Ocean City Board of Realtors office at 405 22nd Street.

HSOC provides quality living space to house shelter animals until they find forever homes. (Photo courtesy of HSOC Facebook page)

Here is a list of items for the Ecumenical Council Food Cupboard:

Microwave meals, peanut butter, jelly 18-20 oz. container, instant mashed potatoes, Chef Boyardee beefaroni, spaghetti with meatballs, ravioli, canned fruit 15 oz. cans, dried (powdered) milk, spaghetti or pasta, small bottles of laundry detergent, small bottles of Dawn dishwashing detergent, cereal 18-20 oz. boxes, shampoo, tissues and ShopRite or Acme gift cards.

Here is a brief list of some items that the Humane Society of Ocean City needs:

Canned cat food, dog and cat treats, rabbit pellets, cat or dog beds, towels, blankets, paper towels, laundry detergent, dish detergent and gift cards from Tractor Supply, PetSmart or Chewy.

For more information- please contact Vicki Heebner at 609-399-0128 or Vicki@ocbor.com

Paid for by Michael DeVlieger