The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

December 25, 2013

West End food bank grows from 60 to 250 families in 5 years

By Marcia Moore
The Daily Item

LEWISBURG — LAURELTON — The West End Bible Fellowship Food Bank has been serving up food to hundreds of families for five years.

The idea arose during prayer, and a group of volunteers were able to set it up in the former Laurelton Center in Hartley Township, western Union County, with the aid of donations from the congregation.

Open the first Friday of the month from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the food bank initially served 60 families a month, volunteer Carol Rishel said.

Today, 250 families from Union, Snyder, Northumberland, Centre and Juniata counties travel to the food bank each month.

“I never realized there was such a need in this area. People tell us that if it were not for the food bank, they would be starving at the end of the month,” Rishel said. “Our shelves are bare after people have gone through.”

The church provides $1,750 each month for the purchase of food and some personal hygiene items. Volunteers also shop yard sales for stuffed animals and books to provide to children who visit.

Rishel said all are welcome and the volunteers rely on recipients to be honest about their need.

“We do not ask for proof (of income),” she said. “Just their name, address, phone number and number of family members.”