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Pie in the Sky collecting holiday donations for low-income seniors

As you plan your Thanksgiving meal, there are hundreds of low-income senior citizens in St. Johns County who could use your help.

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — With Thanksgiving fast approaching, there are hundreds of low-income senior citizens in St. Johns County who could use some help. 

The non-profit Pie in the Sky is delivering meals to them this week. They are in need of still more donations for Thanksgiving and Christmas next month.

St.Johns County is one of the wealthiest counties in Florida, yet it is home to more than 6,000 low-income seniors, according to Malea Guiriba, Executive Director of Pie in the Sky.

“You see the little lady in the line at the grocery store," Guiriba said. "She's got a can of tuna and a box of macaroni and cheese, and you think like you, you just run into the store to pick up a couple things, well that might not be true. That might be all she can afford."

Pie in the Sky delivers fresh produce to the underserved, vulnerable population year round, and this week is also delivering food for a Thanksgiving meal.

“When we're talking low income, we're talking you know, most of them are 75% below the poverty level which is around $800 a month," Guiriba explained. "They're also over rent burdened, which means that they pay more than 50% of their income in housing and utility expenses, so there's very little room left for food."

More than 400 seniors are on her organization's Thanksgiving list this year. There are still time for people to help give them a Thanksgiving feast.

“We need 100 boxes of stuffing mix, 100 cans of cranberry sauce, 100 packets of gravy, 100 cans of green beans, and 100 Jiffy cornbread mix to make sure that all of our seniors will get enough stuff to prepare a little holiday meal along with the fruits and vegetables,” Guiriba said.

Pie in the Sky is also collecting donations for Christmas gifts for seniors citizens in need like fleece blankets, coloring books, chocolates, and toiletries.

“We have a group of Girl Scouts that take our little brown paper bags and decorate them with holidays, and we put the things in there, and it's a pretty big deal,” Guiriba said. “It might be the only present they have under a little tree. They need help all year long, not just that the holidays, but we do try to brighten those times for them.”

Thanksgiving donations can be dropped off by Tuesday, November 24 at Pie in the Sky's warehouse at 134 Riberia St, Unit 4, St. Augustine, FL 32084. You can call Phyllis Wood at 904-444-4667 to schedule a drop off. 

People may also make a monetary donation online.

Here are the items still needed:

  • 100 Boxes of Stuffing Mix
  • 100 Cans of Cranberry
  • 100 Gravy Packets
  • 100 Jiffy Cornbread Mix
  • 100 Cans of Green Beans
  • These Christmas items are needed by December 14, 2020.
  • 200 Fleece Blankets
  • 200 Coloring Books
  • 200 Crayons
  • 200 Chocolates
  • 200 Assorted Toiletries (shampoo, hand soap, hand cream)
  • 200 Pot Holders
  • 200 Kitchen Towels