The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 22, 2013

20 help cook and work at Community Harvest food pantry

By Ashley Wislock
The Daily Item

— MILTON — While many people spent Monday enjoying a day off with family or watching the presidential inauguration, more than 20 people came together to serve the area through a local program known as Community Harvest.

Members of Americorps’ C.O.R.E. Susquehanna helped cook and serve a meal to the public, while others helped organized Community Harvest’s pantry, the first step to becoming a Central Pennsylvania Food Bank member location, said Adryan Foresman, an Americorps service member working with the Bucknell University Office of Civic Engagement, which runs Community Harvest.

Becoming a Central Pennsylvania Food Bank member location would enable Community Harvest to purchase food at cheaper prices, said Foresman, 2006 graduate of Warrior Run High School.

Community Harvest, which serves a meal once a week year-round, relies on donations for funding.

“It costs about $700 (to host) a meal,” she said. “So that sustainability is not always there.”

One of the steps to becoming a certified member location with the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank is making sure everything in Community Harvest’s food pantry is labeled and organized and that the pantry is free of cleaning supplies, things the group of volunteers were working on Monday.

The food bank also requires a certain number of member organizations to be “Safe Serve” certified, Foresman said.

Community Harvest is held in St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church, 102 Lower Market St., and serves 100 to 125 people a week, Foresman said. However, the organization’s twice yearly holiday meals may draw 150 and 200 guests.

Being a member location would allow Community Harvest to continue serving these community members as well as offer more options.

“We would be able to offer more variety to our patrons,” she said.

C.O.R.E. Susquehanna, which has 27 service members, chooses a different service project each Martin Luther King Jr. Day to participate in and chose Community Harvest for 2013, said Robyn Rink, member coordinator for the group.

Americorps members can be found throughout the community in a variety of roles, from libraries and schools to human services groups, Rink said.

“They do a lot of different things,” she said.