Village of Sussex — Sussex Outreach Services is warning donors that canned goods and sub-zero temperatures do not mix.
Residents often leave items in SOS's outdoor donation shed — built by local Eagle Scout Tyler Scherer for that purpose — but Executive Director Jennifer Waltz is warning donors not to leave food items there when the temperature is too cold; the food will freeze and could even explode.
"It’s the extreme cold that’s the problem, but it's better to be safe than sorry," Waltz said. "I would hate for someone to take the time, energy and expense of purchasing food and then us not being able to use it. They (donors) are certainly trying to get it to someone who needs it.”
Waltz advised residents not to leave food items outside when the temperature is less than 40 degrees.
The donation shed is located on the east side of the Sussex Civic Center and provides donors with a drop-off place when SOS is closed, but there are other options for residents to give as well.
"Since we are open during the week from 9 a.m. to noon, I know that can be hard for other people to drop off donations," Waltz said. "You can also come Monday night when we’re open, or Saturday mornings when we’re here from 10 a.m. to noon. We also have barrels both at Piggly Wiggly and Pick ’n Save, which are open all the time, so people can leave things there, too."
Families in need can shop for goods at SOS three times a week: Monday from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Wednesday from 1 to 2:30 p.m, and Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.
Right now, SOS's list of needed items includes hearty soups and other essentials, including Chunky and Progresso soups, tomato products (spaghetti sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce), macaroni and cheese, canned chicken, canned pastas (ravioli, spaghetti and meatballs, etc.), canned beans, spaghetti, juice (64 oz. bottles; any kind except grape), oatmeal, toilet paper, dish soap, diapers (sizes five and six).
For more information on Sussex Outreach Services, visit the website at www.sussexareasos.org.