G-A Food Pantry adjusts to pandemic

Shawn Hardy
Volunteers, including Rev. Bob Cook, interim pastor of Greencastle Presbyterian Church, Jackson and Connor Wright and Sarah Harmon carried bags and boxes to waiting vehicles at the Greencastle-Antrim Food Pantry on April 2.

The Greencastle-Antrim Food Pantry feeds people in need all year long and is ready to provide extra help during the COVID-19 pandemic, which also has impacted how food is distributed.

The pantry will be open an additional day this month, from 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, April 22. The food pantry is regularly open from 6:30 to 8 p.m. the first Thursday of the month and 9 a.m. to noon the second and third Wednesdays at Greencastle Presbyterian Church, 57 W. Baltimore St.

Emergency requests for food can be made by calling 717-597-8333, Ext. 2, and leaving a message.

By the end of last week, there had been four emergency calls including families with children who had no food as well as single, disabled individuals, according to Barbara Grane, president of the food pantry board of directors.

Thanks to a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture received by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on March 28, income requirements are on hold.

"If they need food, we can supply that without asking about finances," Grane said.

The usual number of people came for food last Thursday, but 25 percent were new to the pantry. Turnout is usually 15 to 20 Thursday evenings and more than 40 on Wednesday mornings.

Instead of going into the food pantry in the basement of the church, people now wait in their vehicles in the parking lot off South Jefferson Street.

"We are asking those who need food to turn into the parking lot and remain in their cars until someone gives then directions," Grane said.

"We deliver the boxes and bags of food to the vehicles instead of having them come into the pantry," she explained. "Those needing food open the doors and trunks and the volunteers place the food into the vehicle."

All volunteers wear gloves and many are sporting homemade masks donated by the community.

They carry bags and boxes filled with canned foods, frozen meats, vegetables, soup, cereal and other staples — including one roll of toilet paper, which has always been the case — to the waiting vehicles.

Anyone interested in donating food to the pantry can call 717-597-8333, Ext. 2, and leave a message or email:

To make a monetary donation, send a check to Greencastle-Antrim Food Pantry, 57 W. Baltimore St., Greencastle, PA 17225.