Pennsylvania food banks will remain open and are delivering food to local agencies such as pantries, shelters and soup kitchens, Senator Lisa Boscola (D-18) announced in a bulletin Wednesday.
Boscola’s newsletter included a statement from Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding about accessing emergency food assistance in the wake of the spread of the coronavirus.
“During this time of major precautions to reduce risks of spreading COVID-19, those out of work, those who rely on college meal plans, school meals to feed their children and those who are isolated may not know where to turn for food,” Redding said. “No Pennsylvanian should go hungry, even in these extraordinary times.”
Anyone who is out of work without pay is eligible to receive food from a food bank or food pantry in Pennsylvania. This offer extends to service workers and hourly wage employees of non-life-sustaining businesses that have temporarily closed in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Redding said.
Individuals seeking eligibility will need to verbally complete a Self-Declaration of Need form, where they must provide their household size and weekly income level. Forms are also available in Spanish and Russian. Additional forms and information can be found on the Pennsylvania Agriculture website.
Many local food banks are implementing changes to ensure health and safety amid the spread of COVID-19.
Second Harvest Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley and Northeast Pennsylvania has suspended all volunteer activity, and visitors who have not already made an appointment are prevented from entering the facility until further notice.
The food bank is not accepting community food drive donations until further notice, but still encourages individuals to donate to their local food pantry. They are still accepting monetary donations, which can be made on their website or mailed to 6969 Silver Crest Road, Nazareth, PA 18064 ATTN: SHFBLV.
Second Harvest will continue to make deliveries to its network of 200 nonprofit agencies.
New Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lower Saucon Township is continuing its food bank efforts in conjunction with the Hellertown Area Ministerium, however they are changing to a drive-up food bank in lieu of their normal walk-in format. The bank accepts donations of food and money on the third and fourth Friday of the month.
Ebenezer New Reformed Church in Lower Saucon Township is also keeping its food bank operational at this time, with modifications. Ebenezer New Reformed Church is located at 3221 Bingen Road in Bethlehem. For more information please call 610-838-0924.
The Giant Company, which operates many local supermarkets, also announced last week that it was making a $250,000 donation to Pennsylvania food banks. The company urged customers to donate when checking out to help fight hunger during the pandemic.