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