Thanks to the generosity of shoppers and a team effort between two local service organizations, some struggling Lancaster families will have a brighter holiday season.
Lancaster’s Trinity Food Pantry received an estimated three tons of food and other goods on Nov. 19 following a daylong food drive organized by the Lancaster Volunteer Ambulance Corps (LVAC) and Office of Emergency Management (OEM).
“This is absolutely a tremendous help to us,” said Elizabeth Moll, the pantry’s volunteer director. “The combination of LVAC and OEM, the local churches and the school programs are the difference between giving out just a few cans of beans and tuna fish and being able to give people something that really helps them.”
30 LVAC volunteers stationed at the Tops Markets in the D&L Plaza and Walmart at William and Transit collected the food and more than $500 in cash donations and 11 frozen turkeys.
The food will be distributed to families over the next two months. The pantry is open three times a week with many people using it to supplement their grocery shopping, Moll said.
In fact, the pantry is experiencing a 30 percent increase over last year in the number of people using its services, she said. And with the holidays fast approaching, demand typically spikes.
“People are coming in in greater and greater numbers,” Moll said.
She called LVAC an “asset” to the community.
“I think doing this is very consistent with LVAC’s mission to help people in emergency situations because for many people this is an emergency,” she said. “It may not be a tornado or a heart attack but it certainly is an emergency when you don’t feel like you can feed your family adequately.”
Organized by Alli Revelas and Kyle Haniszewski, the drive included contributions from Rabie Alnaji, Elena Armitage, Charlie Basher, Nancy Franjoine, Andy Gangloff, Kristen Guadagno, Jonathan Hunter, Greg Jankiewicz, Mike Kugel, Tim Marshall, Max Martin, Greg Moreno, Todd Okoniewski, Andy Parker, Larry Pohl, Amanda Popiolkowski, Chester Popiolkowski, Joe Popiolkowski, Amanda Reiner, Mark Reinhard, Amy Revelas, Bill Revelas, Nancy Revelas, Daniela Rezabek, Rian Rodrigues, Kyle Rzeszutek, Jeanenne Thoman and Paul Welker.
“LVAC is really a group of caring individuals that are able to come together for the same cause,” Alli Revelas said.
See more photos from the food drive.