GOSHEN TOWNSHIP- The Second Harvest mobile food pantry at the Bunker Hill United Methodist Church has continued to grow since its inception last August.
What started as pre-packaged boxes of food for six families, the distribution has grown to a walk through pantry serving over 70 families, a number that will likely push over 100 with the projected closing of the Ellsworth mobile pantry.
"Our goal is to make sure people in the valley are fed," said Torney Comer, agency relations associate for Second Harvest. "We see [Goshen Township] as an area that is underserviced by pantries...we want to feed as many people as possible."
From left, Torney Comer, Pat Coy and Karen Biery prepare fresh produce for distribution at the Second Harvest mobile food pantry at Bunker Hill United Methodist Church. The pantry enters its second year, increasing its distribution from six families to over 70. (Salem News photo by Kevin Howell)
Second Harvest began working with the church after congregation member Dolores Campbell brought to attention the need for food distribution in the area, Comer said, noting the closest pantry is in Salem. The mobile pantry at Bunker Hill is hosted by the church's Missions Committee.
"We're very pleased with the turnout, thankful that we can help those in need," said Pat Coy, committee chair.
When the mobile pantry began, families were given pre-packaged boxes of food, but as the service has grown, the distribution has changed. The food is now set up on tables and the families walk through, selecting what they want. Comer said the walk through is more popular and efficient because the families get more food and more choices.
"They aren't given something they won't use," she explained.
Comer said the distribution usually has approximately 10 volunteers each month and they are always looking for more. Anyone wishing to volunteer should call Rita at Second Harvest at 330-792-5522 Ext. 11 and request the Bunker Hill pantry.
Families seeking assistance may show up during pantry hours and must meet eligibility requirements. Food is provided by Second Harvest.
Pantry hours are 10 a.m. to noon the second Friday of each month. The next distribution is Sept. 14. The church is located at 15096 Middletown Road.
Kevin Howell can be reached at email@example.com