Greencastle food pantries bursting at the seams for a little while

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
Bryan Larew and Christopher Bryan help stock the Greencastle food pantry shelves. Youth often help out as part of their community service projects.

A huge donation by employees of Manitowoc Crane in Shady Grove literally put meals on the table for area residents. The recipients, food pantries in Greencastle and Hagerstown, Md., had bare cupboards, and the food items and money resulted in filling the shelves with canned and boxed goods and purchasing capability for perishables.

During the month of May, the employees brought in 4,298 food items, monetary donations of $6,752, and Manitowoc also gave $2,500, reported human resources administrative assistant Mary Lou Sheeley. The gifts were split between South Central Community Action Council, operating from Greencastle Presbyterian Church, and Washington County Community Action Council, located at 101 Summit Ave.

The results of the drive impressed many people.

“It was awesome,” said Sheeley. “The employees were extremely generous. They really stepped up. And it’s great Manitowoc gave them the opportunity.”

Greencastle’s food pantry volunteer coordinator Peggy DeWire appreciated the donations.

“Our shelves get low pretty fast,” she said. “This will really help us. We use more in the summer because school is out.”

She serves 100 families monthly.

Donna Rose, director of case management at the Hagerstown pantry, was grateful for the boxes of food.

“We are able to sustain our pantry. We’ve really been hit. More people than ever are using it,” she said. “We built up our stock to continue to provide services.”

She serves 175 families monthly.

Kline’s Grocery in Shady Grove also participated in the drive by selling staples at cost, which were distributed on July 9 with the rest of the collection.

Greencastle’s food bank

The SCCAP pantry at Greencastle Presbyterian Church, 57 W. Baltimore St., is open the first Thursday of each month, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., and the second and third Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon. DeWire will register new families at the site and they must bring proof of address.

DeWire used the cash from the Manitowoc drive to purchase from Kline’s the items she was out of: pancake mix, syrup and cereal, as well as hamburger and chicken tenders. She has money left over for future needs.

Several businesses support the pantry. Food Lion donates produce and bakery goods. Sunnyway Foods donates bread and snacks.

Clients receive a box of 20 items from food supplied by the state of Pennsylvania. They also get two bags of items from public donations, and another bag of meat. When available, they will receive personal care or household items. Every other month each family also gets a voucher for meat, eggs and cheese from Kline’s Grocery, courtesy of the Greencastle Ministerium Association.

DeWire extended thanks to everyone who donates food throughout the year.

“I don’t know what we’d do without Manitowoc and the community,” she said.