Spring 2022 Update
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.”
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.
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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.
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!
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The EFP is on Facebook: Ecumenical Food Pantry Harrisburg-@ecumenicalfoodpantryharrisburg
Instagram:Ecumenical Food Pantry (Hbg)-e_food_pantry
With much gratitude and best wishes,
EFP Board Chair