Monetary donations now go much further to help local residents
CLEARFIELD – Although The Salvation Army in Clearfield has had a food pantry for more than 30 years, a new partnership with the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank will enable more people to be served and make the donation process for those who want to help more effective.
Located at 119 Byers St. (up the hill from Market Street), The Salvation Army’s Food Pantry is open five days per week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., as a resource to the community.
Those in need of food can come to The Salvation Army once per month. As a “Client Choice Food Pantry,” clients are welcome to bring their own bags and choose the food they need. This eliminates waste while providing a sense of dignity for clients.
This pantry has survived for years solely from donations of food from community members, and occasional monetary gifts specified to food.
However, as new officers Captain Helen and Kevin Johnson found when they arrived here, despite their best efforts to solicit food, there have been numerous times when the food pantry shelves have been empty.
The newly-formed partnership with the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank has provided an easy fix to this problem. As part of a national organization, under Feeding America, businesses worldwide donate goods for food banks all over the country.
Local business and personal donations are also eagerly accepted at the food bank. As a result, local food pantries, like the Clearfield Salvation Army, are able to purchase food in bulk from the food bank at extremely low prices.
This partnership makes your donations to The Salvation Army that are designated for food go so much farther. For example: If you were to spend $5 at a local store to buy canned goods for the food pantry, you may get 10 cans.
That same $5 at the food bank, The Salvation Army can buy five, large boxes of can goods. The Salvation Army can also receive free foods from the food bank, as well. Being a member of the food bank also ensures that health and safety regulations are followed.
“Working with the Food Bank will be an extremely valuable partnership for The Salvation Army,” remarked Captain Helen Johnson.
The Salvation Army will still gladly accept food donations, but they encourage monetary donations that can be used to purchase food by the pound from the food bank. They also welcome volunteers to help stock shelves and sort food.
“All in need are welcome to get food from the location once a month. There is never and shame in getting help and we never discriminate,” said a Salvation Army volunteer.
The Johnsons expressed the desire to continue to expand the pantry and include hygiene products regularly, as well as meats and dairy.
“We are updating our refrigeration and hope to be able to stock healthier, substantial foods soon. We also try to get fresh produce from our garden into the pantry whenever we can.” Captain Kevin Johnson said.
The Salvation Army also helps an average of six people per month with rent or utility financial assistance and seeks to help those in financial stress find peace.
Sometimes just saving money on food can provide the extra funds needed to pay the rent. “When we help those in need, we are giving hope and dignity to all,” added Captain Helen Johnson.
Celebrating 150 years of global service as both a church and a social service organization, The Salvation Army began in London, England in 1865. Today, it provides critical services in 127 countries worldwide.
The 28-county Western Pennsylvania Division serves thousands of needy families through a wide variety of support services. To learn more about The Salvation Army in Western Pennsylvania, log on to www.wpa.salvationarmy.org The Salvation Army … doing the most good for the most people in the most need.