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Food drive brings in three pickup trucks' worth of supplies for Royalton-based food pantry


Three pickup trucks full of food and useful items — even some toilet paper — were collected from Royalton residents Saturday during a food drive to support the Middletown Area Interfaith Council Food Pantry.

Volunteers with the Royalton Emergency Management Agency had posted on Facebook asking residents put their items out in boxes and in bags to be collected by 10 a.m., to avoid physical contact with the volunteers to prevent spreading the coronavirus.

The food drive could not have come at a better time, said the Rev. Britt Strohecker, pastor of New Beginnings Church in Middletown and a council member active with the food pantry.

The pantry usually receives a resupply of two or three pallets of food each week from Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.

Last week, the food pantry received just one pallet, the smallest amount Strohecker said he ever recalls the pantry receiving from the big food bank in a weekly delivery. The food bank told him it was due to a distribution issue.

“The timing of (the drive) was perfect for us,” Strohecker said. “We were not really limited on what we could hand out, but we were starting to show signs. The supply at the pantry was lower than what I am used to seeing there.”

The pantry received a lot of cereal — an item that is very helpful right now — from Saturday’s drive, Strohecker said, along with canned goods, pancake mix, bar soap and other toiletry items, and an overall “hodge podge” of what the pantry normally tries to have on hand.

The drive “kind of filled a gap” that the pantry was beginning to experience due to the lower than normal amount of items delivered last week. Right now, the only item the pantry is short of is eggs — they have none, Strohecker said.

Residents also donated money during the drive that the pantry can also use to buy food from stores to supplement what it receives from the big food bank.

“We just really really appreciate what Royalton has done for us,” Strohecker said of the food drive.

The Royalton Emergency Management Agency is made up of residents who volunteer to make themselves available to the town in case of a disaster like a flood, fire, or in this case, the coronavirus.

Nine volunteers with the agency took part in Saturday’s food drive, said Amy Burrell, Royalton borough secretary/treasurer.

“We were very pleased” with the response of residents to the drive, Burrell said. The agency will stay in touch with the food pantry to monitor any future needs, she added.

The pantry at 201 Wyoming St. distributes food from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every Tuesday and Friday. 

Bring proof of identification and residency, such as a driver’s license and/or utility bill.