As the COVID-19 pandemic causes more people to lose their jobs, the demand on the local food pantry increases.
The pantry’s ability to get food has decreased.
The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank is not able to sell as much food to South Central Community Action Programs (SCCAP) as it usually does, SCCAP Executive Director Megan Shreve said during a Gettysburg Borough press conference on Thursday. SCCAP usually spends about $3,000 per food bank order, but on Tuesday it was only able to spend $1,900, Shreve said.
“Most items have very little nutritional quality to them because they have low access to items right now,” Shreve said.
Shreve said she does not want people running to the grocery stores and stocking up on behalf of SCCAP. Clearing grocery store shelves to help people in need will prevent people from being able to access food for their families, Shreve said.
“We do not want to do a run on stores that are already low on food and create more panic in the community,” Shreve said. “We just need the food system to catch up with the purchases that are taking place.”
SCCAP is purchasing food from restaurant suppliers so it can stock the local food pantry, Shreve said. However, that method is much more expensive.
“Typically, in a quarter, we spend about $22,000 on food,” Shreve said. “That $22,000 will last us less than a month.”
If residents have extra dry food in their home they wish to donate to SCCAP, there are bins outside of the food pantry at 153 S. Stratton St., Gettysburg, Shreve said. Donations to assist SCCAP’s ability to purchase food for the pantry can be sent to the pantry or made online at www.sccap.org/donation.
Mary Smith, executive director of the Salvation Army, said her organization is helping “residents who need a helping hand to get through a real rough spot.”
The Salvation Army “is sort of the safety net that is under all of the other organizations, Smith said. The Salvation Army “picks up the pieces” and helps residents with “little things” such as rent, utility bills, prescription costs, and state inspection costs. Those seeking assistance from the Salvation Army should call Lisa Beaver at SCCAP, 717-334-7634, ext. 131, and leave a message.
All Salvation Army assistance is funded through the Red Kettle Campaign at Gettysburg Walmart during the holiday season, Smith said.
The Salvation Army is also seeking someone with a refrigerated truck who can pick up food in Lebanon next week. Anyone with a truck who wishes to donate his or her services should call Beaver, Smith said.