A 21st Century Journalism Project

An Essential Community Resource Edinboro Food Pantry

In Organizations on April 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm

BY: TRISHA RICE

As the cost of living continues to rise the harder it is for families to survive. In a poor economy the job market is not great either. Not everyone is able to find work to support their family. Not only do most families have bills to pay but they also have to pay for all the other necessities in their life.  Food is an important necessity in life. At the Edinboro Food Pantry volunteers support their community.

The Edinboro Food Pantry is an organization that helps lighten the heavy burdens of people who cannot afford such sustenance for themselves. The Food Pantry has served the local community for 26 years.
The Edinboro Food Pantry is supported by The Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania which serves 11 counties in western PA.  27 percent of the clients that use this organization have very low food security. Some month’s people have to choose between buying food and paying bills. As long as your credentials are correct you are more than welcome to use any branch of the Food Bank for support.

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Every Tuesday people line up at Our Lady of the Lake Parish waiting for food distribution to begin.  How much food is provided for each family depends on the families monthly income.

When families arrive at the food pantry they are asked to fill out a form that states what their annual salary, monthly salary, and weekly salary is along with how many people reside in their house. Once this step is completed they hand you a box that has a bunch of different food items in it. From there you proceed to the next room where you come to a table where you are allowed to switch out anything in your box for something different. This way they make sure all their food is being put to good use by letting people choose what they want. As you proceed down the line you get to choose one item from each section breads, rolls, fruit, and boxed food products you need.

This organizations relay on volunteers throughout the community and never seem to run short on people wanting to help out. Mary Weber is the distribution manager at the Food Pantry in Edinboro.

“At the end of the day when all the stuff is gone, and a lot it is recycled from the grocery store that if they didn’t do that they didn’t donate to second harvest would just end up in a landfill”.

Mary stated that in last July four to five hundred people newly signed on for the food pantry and that on given Tuesday they have around 200 people who come for food. “I like that it doesn’t go to waste and that it helps people”.

The Edinboro Food Pantry also receives donations for Christmas gifts that get handed out to families with children. Some of the places they receive the presents from are the Salvation Army, the Knights of Columbus, and any local

 churches.Parents tell the organization how old their children are and

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if they are male or female. Then when the families comes in to pick up their food for the holiday they receive the presents in a big red bag so if the children are with them they do not get to see what Santa has got for them.

Along with presents the Food Pantry also stops by Wal-Mart for any ripped bags of dog food they are able to donate.

“Wal-Mart, Wegmans, and the local Giant Eagle that donate to Second Harvest are very generous, and if they’re getting rid of an item that isn’t really getting sold on the shelf we sometimes get like 3-4 boxes full”.

Coming to the Food Pantry is not something people do to get free food, but it’s when they need help. The workers at the food pantry are kind, so welcoming, and are so happy to be there helping everyone. Every family does the best to provide their family with everything they need but some times ends just don’t meet when it comes to their income. Organizations like the Food Pantry are there to help families in those situations so no one has to go to bed hungry.

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