Ecumenical Food Pantry

Greetings Volunteers, Supporters, and Friends of the Ecumenical Food Pantry!

Hope you are enjoying the Fall season in Central Pennsylvania. Below is an update of current trends, operations, and events.

Our Mission Statement:
“The Ecumenical Food Pantry supports those in the greater Harrisburg area who are experiencing food insecurity primarily through provision of emergency food assistance”

Client Trends
As mentioned in July, the EFP is experiencing high volumes of client need. During the months of August and September over 5200 people received assistance. The pantry is on pace to receive and serve 25,000-30,000 people annually, with children under 17 representing 45% of those served. The EFP remains the largest pantry in the Harrisburg area and our services are needed more than ever. The almost 300% increase in clients over 2021 is putting a strain on resources to meet the dramatic increase in demand. The EFP is so grateful for all the dedicated volunteers who serve the thousands of people each month.
We continue to provide our clients a choice of meats such as ground beef, ham, and chicken. In addition, we offer fresh milk, eggs, bread, fresh produce plus rice, pasta, cereal, soups and a variety of non-perishables. We have distributed over 135,000 pounds of food the past two months, 88,000 being fruits and vegetables, proteins, dairy, and whole grains.

Operations
The EFP continues to maximize our new cold storage units to store dairy, eggs, produce and meats. We have acquired several carts to assist in the movement of cases of food and bags of packaged groceries.

Non English language resources have been implemented.

Halal meats are available.

We continue to provide an array of fresh produce such as, peaches, apples, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, kale, and grapes.

We are fortunate to have a strong relationship with Bethesda Mission and Mission Central who have provided supplemental food and personal items to share with clients.

Third Saturday of the month hours have become busy distribution times. Many clients are employed and often unable to visit the pantry during weekday hours.

We are grateful to the Lower Susquehanna Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America World Hunger Committee for its 2022 grant award to the EFP for help in the cost of buying food and equipment upgrades.

Events
Please mark your calendar for May 22, 2023 for the 3rd Annual Harvest Open benefitting the Ecumenical Food Pantry. We continue to strive to make this event one of the most popular and well attended charity golf event in the area. A team of EFP volunteers work hard to make this a special and successful event.

We continue to partner with Friends of Midtown. A personal hygiene drive will be held on November 5th from 9:30-1:00 at the EFP parking lot.

The EFP was a gracious recipient of proceeds from the MT Airy Orchards Blueberry Festival held in July. We had several volunteers flipping pancakes and serving customers. We are thankful of the support the Paulus Family and Mt Airy Orchards provide. The proceeds will help us provide thousands of meals to those in need.

Many thanks to the 14 sponsors and 60 individuals who made donations in support of the Ecumenical Food Pantry’s 50th anniversary celebration and all who planned and attended on September 17th. It was a joyous celebration of our community and the volunteers and donors who have made the past 50 years of feeding Harrisburg possible. The donations we received for the 50th anniversary not only covered expenses of the free community event which included food, music and games, but we also raised much needed funds for on-going food related expenses.

Some upcoming food drives for the EFP include, Jewish Family Services, Christ Lutheran Church, Epiphany Lutheran, Paxtang Lions Club, and the Polyclinic Hospital Nurses Alumni.

EFP Needs
As mentioned, we are seeing incredible increases in need, almost 300% over 2021. We appreciate all the past and future support. Financial donations remain the best way to support the mission of the EFP. Your donations help ensure that we can continue to meet the needs of those facing food insecurity. Fortunately, we have access to food from sources like the Central PA Food Bank at discounts not found at retail outlets so dollars go much further. Please consider a donation to the EFP. You can do so electronically by visiting our website www.efoodpantry.org or mailing a donation to Ecumenical Food Pantry, 901 N. 6th Street, Harrisburg, PA 17102.

To supplement our healthy food options, the EFP strives to provide personal hygiene products to the clients who visit the EFP. Donations of toiletries are always very welcome.

Are you interested in volunteering but not sure how to get involved? There are opportunities besides Monday-Friday operating hours. Please let us know of your availability and interests. Call or email Deidre Lenker at 717-233-6889 or Deidre@foodpantry.org or Phil Mackey at 717-562-6368 or pmackey58@gmail.com

In closing, the EFP would like to thank all the dedicated volunteers, supporters, community partners, and board members for the incredible efforts to address food insecurity in our corner of the world. Our future and ability to meet the needs for assistance depends on the collaboration of all serving those in need. From all of us at the EFP we are very grateful for the generous support.

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is…
“What are you doing to help others?”
MLK Jr.

Thank you with much gratitude

Phil Mackey
EFP Board Chair

Many thanks to all who made the 50th Anniversary Celebration held on September 17th a success! This event honored the volunteers, the donors and the vibrant community who have supported the Ecumenical Food Pantry.

Thank You 50th Anniversary Celebration SponsorsMany thanks to all who made the 50th Anniversary Celebration held on September 17th a success! This event honored the volunteers, the donors and the vibrant community who have supported the Ecumenical Food Pantry. It was 50 years ago that several church women began offering food to the victims of Hurricane Agnes. Ruth Pry, founding member,  is quoted as saying “We began the Food Bank with eleven volunteers from Messiah and Lakeside Lutheran Churches. A group of women from Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Camp Hill joined the Food Bank and thus it became an ecumenical movement with the merging faiths.” Ecumenical meaning universal, representing the unity in the diversity of churches. The founders had no idea that their efforts would continue for decades, meeting the needs of more than 1.2 million individuals in the Harrisburg area! Volunteers have been the life blood of this organization, delivering and stocking food, packing, and distributing bags and managing the operations of the organization. We also thank the 14 organizations and businesses who sponsored the event, as well as the 60 individuals who made donations in honor of our 50th anniversary. The food pantry started with individual donations from the community, increased to grocery store and farmer overstock deliveries and ultimately to participation in the State Food Purchase Plan program, now administered by the Central PA Food Bank. The EFP has been very grateful to have financial support from over 40 area churches and many community groups, businesses, and individuals. We are grateful for the partnership we have had with Messiah Lutheran Church, our host for 50 years! We honor the greater Harrisburg community and the network of agencies that serve our neighbors in times of need. The Ecumenical Food Pantry is part of a network of human service agencies meeting the needs of those facing food insecurity in our community. We work with the City of Harrisburg, a variety of Dauphin County agencies and many other human service agencies to give a hand up to those in need. September is Hunger Action Month which acknowledges the on-going needs of so many. If you or someone you know is facing food insecurity, please see one of our volunteers here today for information on how to get food. If you can support the work of the Ecumenical Food Pantry, go to the How You Can Help link for information.

Ecumenical Food Pantry | Harrisburg, PA

Greetings Volunteers, Supporters, and Friends!  Hoping everyone is enjoying summer in Central PA.  The EFP shares a summer update of client trends, operations, events, and current needs.

Our Mission Statement 

“The Ecumenical Food Pantry supports those in the greater Harrisburg area who are experiencing food insecurity, primarily through the provision of emergency food assistance.”

Client Trends

Recently the EFP is observing a skyrocketing need for food assistance.  In June 2022, we saw a three fold increase over the same month in 2021! There are a variety of reasons impacting this significant increase; inadequate SNAP benefits, suspension of the expanded child care tax credits that were included in the American Rescue Plan, and the overall increased cost of healthy food options. Children under 17 continue to be the largest group we serve with approximately 45% of the total people served. We continue to monitor the issues impacting the need for food assistance. Clients and case managers continue to share positive feedback on the kindness and compassion the EFP volunteers exhibit in addition to the wide array of healthy food choices offered.

Operations 

The EFP continues to be active in enhancing operations.  Examples include;

-Two new 40 cubic ft. cold storage units

-Non English Language Resources

-Diversity and Inclusion Efforts

-Accommodating clients without cars with strong and sizeable reusable cloth bags

-Homeless Client food options

-Halal meat choices

-Increased  summer produce offerings obtained from our partners.

Events

The Second Annual EFP Harvest Open Golf Tournament was held on May 16 at Dauphin Highlands Golf Course and was a great success! The event drew 136 golfers and dozens of sponsors and donors, which made this the largest single fundraising event held for the EFP.  This popular event is scheduled again for May 22, 2023.

The EFP will be participating and volunteering at the annual Blueberry Festival held at Mt. Airy Orchards in Dillsburg. The event will be July 167am-11am.  The EFP is the designated beneficiary of a portion of the proceeds from event. Please try and support this event. Details and link below to assist.

Saturday, July 16, 2022
Pancake Breakfast (served until 11am, make your reservation in advance)
$9.99/breakfast (20% is being donated to Food Pantry)

Summer Fun Admission Area:  $7.99 General Admission or $9.99 Enhanced Admission

Blueberry Festival Events:

  • Pancake Breakfast (3 blueberry or plain pancakes, scrambled eggs, ham, fruit, and a large coffee or juice), 7am-11am, Purchase Tickets Here
  • Craft Show with over 60 local artisans, 7am-1pm
  • Live Music, JazzMe Band, 9:30am-12:30pm
  • Pick-Your-Own Berries, 7am-6pm
  • Summer Fun Admission Area, 8:30am-6pm

Our supporter and partner, Friends of Midtown, is having their Summer Movie Series held outdoors in the parking lot next to the Midtown Cinema.  Please see the information on dates/titles via the link provided below.   There is an opportunity to donate personal hygiene or non-perishable items to the EFP at the events.    We thank the Friends of Midtown for their fantastic support!

Harrisburg’s Friends of Midtown to host free Outdoor Film …

 

Celebrate 50 Years with Your Donation of $50

This summer marks 50 years of service by the Ecumenical Food Pantry to the greater Harrisburg community! Help us celebrate by participating in our “50 for 50” Campaign by donating a dollar for each of the EFP’s 50 years of service. You are welcome to make your donation in honor or memory of a current or former volunteer, if you wish.

Please use the attached Donation Form. Donations may also be made on our website at www.efoodpantry.org Please indicate that the donation is designated for the 50th Anniversary and indicate if you would like to make it in honor or memory of someone.

We will be celebrating the EFP’s 50th anniversary on September 17, 2022, from 2-4 p.m. at Messiah Lutheran Church. Please join us for an afternoon of food, games and music as we honor our many volunteers and donors, as well as the vibrant community we serve. On Sunday, September 18, 2022, at 10:45 a.m., the worship service of Messiah Lutheran will include special recognition of the Ecumenical Food Pantry ministry as well.

EFP Needs

As mentioned, the EFP continues to see skyrocketing demand.  Financial donations go a long  way in helping the EFP meet the demand.  We fortunately have access to purchase food from sources who offer great discounts so each dollar donated goes much further than if we were to go directly to grocery store. Although we have access to those wholesale type discounts, the prices are rising quickly.

To supplement our healthy food options and choices, we attempt to offer personal hygiene items to our clients.  Donations of toiletries are very welcome.

The EFP also needs volunteers for a variety of roles.  We encourage all who are able to sign up for opportunities. In addition, we need assistance finding new volunteers.  Please pass the word to friends and neighbors who could be interested. Questions can be directed to the EFP.

Thank You

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is:

 What are you doing for others?  

-Martin Luther King, Jr

The EFP would like to thank all the dedicated volunteers, donors, supporters, community partners, and board members for the efforts to battle food insecurity.  Our future depends on the collaboration of all in serving those in need.  From all of us at the EFP we are very grateful and thankful for all the generous support!

Thank You!

 

With much gratitude and best wishes,

Phil Mackey

EFP Board Chair

 

Ecumenical Food Pantry | Harrisburg, PA

We’re having a 50th year Celebration for the pantry on September 17th from 2:00 to 4:00, located at Messiah Lutheran Church, 901 N 6th St., Harrisburg, PA, 17102

Ecumenical Food Pantry | Harrisburg, PA

Spring 2022

Greetings Volunteers, Supporters, and Friends!  Hoping you are healthy and enjoying spring. We welcome you to this spring update of the Ecumenical Food Pantry.

Our Mission Statement 

“The Ecumenical Food Pantry supports those in the greater Harrisburg area who are experiencing food insecurity, primarily through the provision of emergency food assistance.”

Client Trends

The EFP continues to see a steady need from clients looking to the EFP for assistance.  In March 2022, over 1100 people received support from the EFP.  That represents a 68% increase over March of 2021. In the most recent week in April, 400 people sought out the pantry.  Children 17 and under continue to be the largest group of those we serve. Changes to the federal nutrition waiver, which expires June 1 could increase the need for assistance to families with children.  We continue to monitor this issue and others impacting the community need for food.  Clients and local case managers continue to share positive feedback on the EFP, specifically on the produce, dairy, and meat choices we offer.  In addition, comments on the kindness of our volunteers in serving and assisting clients is very satisfying. 

Outreach

The EFP’s Executive Director, Deidre Lenker, continues to expand our array of partners.  Recently reaching out to the American Heart Association, Christian Churches United, Family Promise, and Case Management Unit of Dauphin County. The EFP has also developed a partnership with Church World Services (CWS) who recently opened up an office in Harrisburg.  This refugee resettlement organization will begin to have refugee households seek the EFP for food assistance. Bethesda Food Mission, Mission Central, Aetna, and Centric Bank are also new partnerships established to assist our mission.

We have also reached out to Central Penn College to offer support to those students who have need for healthy food.       

Operations 

The EFP continues to be active in enhancing operations.  Examples include;

-Non English Language Resources

-Diversity and Inclusion Efforts

-Accommodating clients without cars with strong and sizeable reusable cloth bags

-Homeless Client food options 

-Completing a remodeling project on the EFP delivery chute to allow for easier and safer food delivery.

-Increased produce offerings

-Increased personal item offerings to include soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toilet paper, and deodorant.

-Utilization of carts to alleviate bag lifting

Produce and Protein

The EFP is committed to have a steady supply of produce and protein choices.  Our clients have emphasized this need.  Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ( SNAP) benefits are stretched extremely thin.  We continue to seek out partners such as Paulus Orchards, Spiral Path Farms, and Shaffers Meats who enhance our offerings.  Spring and summer will bring more local options.  We thank our partners for all they do to support the EFP!

Events

The Second Annual EFP Harvest  Open Golf Tournament  is scheduled for May 16 at Dauphin Highlands Golf Course.  The event is very close to selling out for the second straight year! Numerous sponsors and donors have shared generous support for the EFP through this event.  This is the EFP’s single largest fundraising event of the year. We are looking forward to a great day!

On April 23rd the semi-annual Friends of Midtown/EFP food and personals drive will occur.  This event will be held from 9-1 in the parking lot of Messiah Lutheran Church.  Please stop by with a contribution. 

The EFP will also be volunteering at the Paulus Mt. Airy Orchard Blueberry Festival on July 16. Paulus Orchards has designated the EFP has a prime beneficiary of this fantastic event, which includes a delicious breakfast and artisan vendors.  Hopefully everyone can support this event!

Mark your calendars for September 17, 2022 for a 50th Anniversary Celebration for the EFP! Our planning committee is working on an event to honor our dedicated volunteers and provide food and fun for the community!  Donors and sponsors are needed.  Do you have photos, stories, or favorite memories of the food pantry that you can share?  Please send them to Deidre Lenker at deidre@efoodpantry.org

Midtown Cinema is currently hosting a drop off box for personal items.  It is located in the lobby.  Movie goers will be able to drop off donations.

Centric Bank recently held a collection drive for the EFP.  The result was the largest corporate donation of personal items we have received in anyone’s memory.  70 boxes of soap, shampoo, toilet paper, deodorant, toothpaste and other items were collected by various bank branches.

EFP Needs

The EFP continues to recognize the need for cloth handled bags for walking clients.  These bag types ease the challenge of transporting groceries, produce, dairy, and meats home. We are happy to accept handled cloth bag donations.  

To supplement our healthy food offerings and choices, we offer a variety of personal care items, such as soap, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, and toilet paper.  We welcome donations of any amount.  

The EFP also needs volunteers to assist with unloading and stocking of food from Midwest Food Bank on the 4th Thursday of the month from 11:00-1:00.  Please sign up for these opportunities in the Time to Sign Up tool on line.  Please contact the EFP for access.  

Lastly, we occasionally have a need to have runners to pick up food donations, produce, and personal items from a variety of sources.  Please contact the EFP if you can be of assistance.

Thank You

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?  

-Martin Luther King, Jr

The EFP would like to thank all the dedicated volunteers, donors, supporters, community partners, and board members for the efforts to battle food insecurity.  Our future depends on the collaboration of all in serving those in need.  From all of us at the EFP we are very grateful and thankful for all the generous support!

Thank You!  

Follow us, like us, check us out!

The EFP is on Facebook: Ecumenical Food Pantry Harrisburg-@ecumenicalfoodpantryharrisburg

Instagram:Ecumenical Food Pantry (Hbg)-e_food_pantry

Website: www.efoodpantry.org

With much gratitude and best wishes,

Phil Mackey

EFP Board Chair

Ecumenical Food Pantry and Friends of Midtown Food Drive

We would like to give special thanks to our neighbors, Friends of Midtown, for working together with us at the Food & Personal Care Item Drive planned for April 23rd 2022, and for promoting & publicizing the event and golf tournament.

Ecumenical Food Pantry | Harrisburg, PA

Winter 2022

Greetings Volunteers, Supporters, and Friends!  Hoping you are healthy and managing through a Central PA winter season. Spring is getting closer.

Our Mission Statement

“The Ecumenical Food Pantry supports those in the greater Harrisburg area who are experiencing food insecurity, primarily through the provision of emergency food assistance”

Operations

The EFP’s Executive Director, Deidre Lenker, created a proposal to reorganize portions of the EFP’s operations. Various phases of change were presented.  The EFP Board and MLC Council (Messiah Lutheran Church) approved moving forward with Phase 1 of the proposal. As a result, on November 29, 2021 we reorganized the EFP operation.  With the help of several board members, volunteers, and MLC staff, we relocated the upstairs aspects of the EFP operations to a portion of the area within MLC known as the gathering room.  Cabinets, desks, refrigerators, freezers, tables, frozen and refrigerated food items, and packed bags of food were all moved after the morning pantry shift.  We opened the next day within a warm and bright operating space.   This environment is more welcoming for clients in and more energy efficient.  All clients, volunteers, and guests are required to wear masks and practice physical distancing.  The EFP continues to operate under the State of PA Food Emergency Guidelines, which are currently scheduled to expire March 31, 2022.

Equipment

The EFP is studying the possibility of adding one 40 cubic ft. refrigerator and one 40 cubic ft. freezer. These additions would expand our ability to safely store produce, dairy, eggs, and meats.  We are looking forward to acquiring the units through collaboration with MLC as to structural and electrical needs.

Produce and Proteins

The EFP is committed to have a steady supply of healthy produce and meat choices.  Our clients have emphasized their desire for choice in these areas. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits are stretched very thin because of the higher cost of healthy food options. We thank our partners including the Central PA Food Bank, Spiral Path Farms, and Paulus Orchards for being valuable sources to fill this important need.  

Client Trends

We continue to see a steady increase of clients needing the services of the EFP.  We are currently serving approximately 1000 people per month, with almost half age 17 or under. The week of January 24, 2022was the busiest week in many months as we served 374 people.  We continue to see a high percentage of new clients who are seeking assistance for the first time. Due to many factors, we expect to see our client numbers grow over the next several months.

Outreach

With leadership from Deidre Lenker, our Executive Director, we continue to partner with area health care organizations to facilitate our clients access to additional, non-food resources.  Contact to Care (Community initiative funded by United Way  and housed in Hamilton Health) and Pennie have visited the EFP to share health insurance marketplace options and services with clients.  Both organizations also donated personal items and hats, gloves, and earmuffs.  

We are also in discussion with Vista Autism to identify opportunities for young adults to learn skills volunteering at the pantry that could help them transition to future employment opportunities. 

Fundraising

The EFP was a gracious recipient of a fundraising effort by Knead Pizza.  Knead Pizza is a Midtown neighbor and we thank them for the support.  Proceeds are going toward fresh produce for distribution to clients. 

Events

The plans for the EFP’s Second Annual Harvest Golf Tournament are underway.  The tournament will be held at Dauphin Highlands on May 16, 2022.  The event sold out last year and we are expecting continued community support to make this another successful event.  See our website, www.efoodpantry.org for further details and opportunities to register to play, sponsor, or donate.   

The EFP was created in response to Tropical Storm Agnes, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.  Can you imagine the number of meals, clients, and volunteer hours the EFP has seen over the past 5 decades?    Stay tuned for further announcements and plans from the EFP’s 50th Anniversary committee led by Deidre Lenker. 

Strategic Planning

We continue to make progress with the EFP’s  2022-2025 strategic planning. Although the strategic plan looks ahead through 2024/25 fiscal year, it will evolve with the changing needs of those in our service areas and with the resources available to the EFP.  We will engage in ongoing review of our programs, operations and role in the community.  

New Board Member

We welcomed Lesla Sheeder to the EFP Board in January.  Lesla will provide additional leadership to an already active and strong board.  Lesla is a realtor with KW Realty and also a member of Messiah Lutheran Church Council.  Welcome Lesla!

EFP Needs

The EFP continues to move away from single use plastic bags for food items.  We have been using new green biodegradable bags.  The green bags are safer for food handling and better for the environment.  We always appreciate new biodegradable bag donations.  We also gladly accept handled cloth bags that walking clients can use to transport items home.  As many of you know, we strive to provide personal items such as soap, toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo, and deodorant for clients.  These items are often taken for granted but families experiencing food insecurity may not have the resources to acquire them.  These items are most welcome via organizational personal drives or directly from gracious individuals.

Thank You

The EFP could not have become such a fixture in the area’s battle against hunger without its dedicated volunteers, donors, community partners and board members.  Our ability to boldly address the needs of clients now and in the future likewise depends on the valued support of these critical resources.  From all of us at the EFP, we humbly say Thank You!

Follow us, like us, check us out!

The EFP is on Facebook: Ecumenical Food Pantry Harrisburg-@ecumenicalfoodpantryharrisburg

Instagram: Ecumenical Food Pantry (Hbg)-e_food_pantry

Website:  www.efoodpantry.org

With much gratitude and best wishes,

Phil Mackey 

EFP Board Chair

Ecumenical Food Pantry | Harrisburg, PA

Dear Friends:

It has been a beautiful fall in central Pennsylvania! As we head into the Thanksgiving holiday, the Ecumenical Food Pantry (EFP) has much to be thankful for – especially the support of our community partners, donors and volunteers.

Although external factors contributed to the EFP seeing a decrease in clients throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a steady increase in the number of individuals seeking emergency food assistance in recent months. We know there are many families in need in the greater Harrisburg area who do not know that the EFP is a resource for them. We are working hard to publicize the availability of the EFP and would appreciate your efforts in helping us spread the word. We can provide your organization with EFP flyers, business cards and other items if helpful for those purposes.

Earlier this fall, we surveyed clients to ensure the EFP is doing its best to meet their needs. Not surprisingly, clients emphasized that they particularly enjoy receiving fresh fruits and vegetables. These responses underscore the importance of our ongoing efforts to seek out additional sources for healthy food options. To that end, we have partnered with Spiral Path Farm in Perry County, which provided us with fresh produce, as available, throughout the fall. We also are exploring equipment upgrades to strengthen our capacity to best store food and facilitate client choice. We are pleased to announce that we have been awarded a World Hunger Legacy Grant from the Lower Susquehanna Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to support these efforts.

The EFP thrives through the generosity of its community partners and volunteers, including at these recent events:

  • On October 23, 2021, the Friends of Midtown hosted a personal care item (soap, shampoo, toothpaste, etc.) drive for the EFP.
  • On November 6, 2021, the Paxtang Lions Club sponsored its annual food drive to benefit the EFP, collecting an impressive 1,500 pounds of food.
  • On November 13, 2021, the EFP received 1,600 pounds of potatoes through the Grace United Methodist Church Potato Drop.

    Mark your calendars! The EFP will be holding its 2nd Annual Harvest Golf Tournament on May 16, 2022, at Dauphin Highlands Golf Course. Please be on the lookout for registration and sponsorship information, which will be posted to our website (www.efoodpantry.org) in the coming weeks.

The EFP is always looking for new volunteers. We need volunteers to serve clients during pantry operating hours, but also have flexible “off-hour” opportunities for drivers, stockers, bag packers and more. Volunteering at the EFP is a wonderful way to support neighbors in need, while getting to know others who are serving our community. Please visit our volunteer page for more information.

As you may know, GivingTuesday is a global day of generosity taking place on November 30, 2021. If you plan to participate on GivingTuesday, please consider the EFP. Donations can be made through our website and by mail.

Please follow us on Instagram (e_food_pantry) and like us on Facebook (@ecumenicalfoodpantryharrisburg) for additional updates. If you have any questions, please reach out using the “Contact Us” page on our website.

With gratitude and best wishes for a happy Thanksgiving,

Phil Mackey, Board Chair

Ecumenical Food Pantry | Harrisburg, PA

October 2021

Greetings volunteers!  Hope you all had a great summer. Welcome to fall!  Here is what is happening at the Ecumenical Food Pantry (EFP):  

New Mission Statement

The EFP board adopted a new Mission Statement.

“The Ecumenical Food Pantry supports those in the greater Harrisburg area who are experiencing food insecurity, primarily through provision of emergency food assistance”.

.

Paulus Mt. Airy Orchard Blueberry Festival

On Saturday July 17 Paulus Mt. Airy Orchard hosted its summer Blueberry Festival and the EFP was the designated non profit organization to receive a portion of the sales.  Several EFP volunteers made pancakes, served breakfast, and provided EFP information to hundreds of attendees.  $2400 was raised for the EFP! We are very appreciative of the support of Paulus Mt. Airy Orchard.  In return the EFP encourages all volunteers to support this business. Address below. 

Paulus Orchards is located at 522 E. Mt. Airy Road, Dillsburg PA  17019, a short distance from Ski Roundtop.

Outreach

Members of the EFP Board visited Hamilton Health Center on Sept 22 to share information about the EFP and to offer sample food bags to 75 people. All in an effort to raise awareness in the community about the EFP.  In addition, laundromats in the city were visited to post EFP information.  More events are being discussed with Hamilton Health.  

Executive Director

Deidre Lenker has been very active the last few months in community outreach, grant seeking, and general operations.  Already seeing an upward trend in clients and community recognition and support.

Welcome Returning Volunteers!

Our client numbers have been trending upward recently and EFP volunteers have been working hard to meet the demand.  There is always plenty to do to help the EFP.  It is amazing to see so many proactive volunteers each day.  We are happy to see many new volunteers but also very glad to see returning volunteers.  EFP is very thankful for all the volunteers who help keep us focused on the mission to serve those in need.  See link below for opportunities to serve.

https://www.timetosignup.com/ecumenfoodpantryhbg/

We are going to be 50!

The EFP was established in response to the damage caused by Tropical Agnes in the summer of 1972.  In 2022, we will be celebrating our 50th anniversary!  Stay tuned for further details.   

Events

On October 23 we will host the semi annual Friends of Midtown/EFP Personal Item Drive from 9-1. This event has been very successful in the past.  We thank FOM for all the support!  On November 6 we will be working with Paxtang Lions on a Food Drive.  Historically a significant amount of food is generously donated that day.   It is amazing to see volunteers step up and help with these events.  

Potato Drop

Our clients often share that they would appreciate receiving more fresh (or frozen) produce.  Potatoes are a popular option, in part because they store well.  On November 13, we will be receiving hundreds of pounds of potatoes through the generous Grace United Methodist Church Potato Drop operation.  We will need several volunteers to assist with unloading the potatoes that day and packing them into 5-pound bags.  Please use the volunteer link above to sign up!

Golf Tournament

The 2nd Annual EFP Harvest Golf Tournament will be held May 16, 2022 at Dauphin Highlands Golf Course.  Last year’s event was very successful as it sold out.  Looking for an even greater event is 2022.  Stay tuned for further details.

Saturday Hours

Recent feedback from the community is that alternate hours would be beneficial.  As a result, we are now open the 3rd Saturday of each month.  We will be open October 16, November 20, and December 18.  All 9:30-12:30.

Strategic Planning

As you may be aware, the EFP board is engaging in a strategic planning effort to serve as a high level roadmap for our future.  If you would like to learn more about our strategic planning process and resultant priorities, you are welcome to attend a discussion session on October 20 at 1pm in the Gathering space at the church.  Please email Amy Foerstrer (amycfoerster@gmail.com) if you plan to attend or if you have any questions but are unable to attend.  

New EFP Board Members

We have added two new members to our board.  Judy Baumgardner and Wendy Fellinger have been accepted to the EFP Board. Both provide a strong background and sincere desire to serve those in need.  We are very fortunate to have them as part of the leadership team.

If you are interested in an opportunity on the EFP board please contact Phil Mackey pmackey58@gmail.com to discuss possibilities.  

EFP Shirt sales

Solve the dilemma of what to wear on a volunteer day.  We have a limited supply of cotton, short sleeve t-shirts and golf shirts for sale, with the possibility of ordering more if they are in demand.  T-shirts are $15 and golf shirts are $28.   If interested, please email Amy Foerster at amycfoerster@gmail.com  with your size preferences to check on availability.  

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Paper Bags Needed

The EFP is getting greener and moving away from single use plastic grocery bags for personal care and cold food items.  We welcome donations of brown bags in all sizes, particularly handled ones, if they are clean and not torn.  We also need reusable cloth or mesh bags, biodegradable bags,and unwanted backpacks. Clients find them handy to transport food home especially if public transportation is utilized.   

Follow us, like us, check us out!

The EFP is on Facebook:  The Ecumenical Food Pantry Harrisburg – @ecumenicalfoodpantryharrisburg

Instagram:  Ecumenical Food Pantry (Hbg) –  e_food_pantry

Website:  www.efoodpantry.org

Ecumenical Food Pantry | Harrisburg, PA

We are pleased to announce that the Food Pantry will be open on third Saturdays of each month. The following days and hours are scheduled.

September 18   9:30-12:30
October 16        9:30-12:30
November 20.   9:30-12:30
December 18.   9:30-12:20