GROVE CITY —
When cold and flu symptoms strike, many sufferers head to the local pharmacy to stock up on over-the-counter remedies.
But for low-income families like those served by the Grove City Community Food Pantry, the cost of these helpful products can keep relief out of reach.
Over-the-counter medicines and supplies are just not in the budget when a head of household is struggling to keep food on the table, said Traci Turner, GCCFP executive director.
"When the money isn't there, low-income folks go without products that others may take for granted, like acetaminophen or tissues," Turner said.
"Even if a family's income is low enough to make them eligible for government assistance, those 'food stamps' can be used to buy food only, not for any health or hygiene products," she explained.
Aware of clients' healthcare needs, Turner said the GCCFP tries to help by making donated drugstore items available to them. But the Food Pantry's limited supply is already dwindling this winter, she said.
To meet the need, the GCCFP is asking the community to help restock the shelves with "Sniffle Soothers."
The GCCFP recently posted a Sniffle Soothers shopping list on their Facebook page, to get the word out.
The list includes fever-reducing medicines like ibuprofen and acetaminophen in strengths for adults, children, and infants.
Also requested are cough syrups, cough drops, mentholated chest rub, nasal sprays, and over-the counter cold medicines.
Other useful items include nausea and diarrhea remedies, as well as germ-killing products such as bleach, hand sanitizer, and antibacterial cleaners.
Tissues and toilet paper are always needed, too.
"Any cold and flu medicine that helps your family feel better is one that our clients can use, too," Turner said, adding that donations of fruit juice, Jell-O, saltines, and tea bags would also be welcome.
Turner said that the GCCFP cannot accept prescription medications or "behind the counter" medications that are non-prescription but must be requested from the pharmacist.
She noted that a "Sniffle Soothers" themed collection drive organized by a community group would be especially helpful to the GCCFP this month.
Turner said, "Every bottle of cough medicine or box of tissues donated will help us offer our clients what they need to get through cold and flu season."
Donations can be dropped off at the Pantry, 114 S. Center St., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday.
The Grove City Community Food Pantry serves more than 1,000 eligible children, adults, and elders residing in the Grove City Area School District. The program relies on a grant from the Grove City Area United Way and on generous community support. For information about food assistance services, donations, or volunteer opportunities, stop by during business hours or call 724-458-5208. Additional info is available at www.gccommunityfoodpantry.org or on Facebook at "Grove City Community Food Pantry."
Published Jan. 12, 2013, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.