The holidays are almost here. Gatherings with friends and family, good food and community cheer embody this heartwarming and indulgent season.

Aside from these wonderful feelings, there are needs that surpass one’s own simple need to not overcook the turkey or forget to wrap the presents. Here are some ways to give locally during this holiday season.

Marshall/Waterloo Food Pantry

The Marshall/Waterloo Food Pantry is always in need of donations. While there will be no food baskets because of COVID restrictions, there are other ways to give to those in need.

The pantry is looking for general items people can donate. Personal care items to hand out, like shampoo, bath and dish soap, toilet paper and paper towels.

They are also looking for common baking items like flour, sugar, eggs and even instant rice.

Sending in nonperishable canned goods or dried fruit are great options too.

Monetary donations are also accepted by the pantry.

The food pantry hours are Wednesdays from noon to 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

The pantry is located at 117 E Madison St, Waterloo.

Monetary donations can be made by mail to P.O. Box 290, Waterloo.

Thanksgiving Meal Boxes

The Salzwedel Community Little free pantry providing a Thanksgiving family meal to those in need in the Marshall/Waterloo area.

Those who wish to help can donate items for the boxes.

Requests for boxes must be made by Friday, Nov. 19, and pick up will be on Sunday, Nov. 21 at Paradiddle’s Café.

The Salzwedel pantry is partnering with the United Methodist Church. More information and links to sign up for donations can be found on the church’s Facebook page.

Those interested can also contact Eric Salzwedel at dogoodwisconsin@gmail.com or Heidi Loomis at pastorhloomis@gmail.com.

Check in on others

Dealing with the stress of a pandemic has no doubt taken a toll on everyone, and people don’t have the same opportunities to see loved ones or enjoy a big holiday meal as they did three years ago.

So, take the time to check in on neighbors and those who don’t have much this holiday season.

Kind gestures like baking an extra pie for a next-door neighbor or just seeing if they’re warm in their house can be a gift for that person.

Even a simple call can be enough.

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