Fall 2022 Update

Harrisburg Area Food Pantry | Harrisburg, PA

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.

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.

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?”

Thank you with much gratitude

Phil Mackey
EFP Board Chair