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Living Hope Church giving away boxes of food for 4th time; area food banks see some increase in demand

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Living Hope Church at 3030 Schoolhouse Road in Londonderry Township is again giving away free boxes of food to those in need, this time from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the church on Saturday, June 20.

The church hopes to distribute up to 200 boxes of free food at the event. Each box contains 35 to 40 pounds of perishable and nonperishable food items. Up to two boxes of food are available per family.

This is the fourth time Living Hope Church has given away the boxes of free food since the local economy was shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

Those in need are asked to reserve their box of food ahead of time by going to LHCfoodblessing620.eventbrite.com; by calling Caleb at 717-649-8101, or by sending an email to handsofhopefood@gmail.com.

To prevent spread of the coronavirus, people are asked to stay in their vehicle. Volunteers will bring out the food.

The first giveaway was April 17, followed by May 1 and May 23.

Some area food banks are still seeing above-average numbers of people coming for assistance during the pandemic. But none appear to have experienced a dramatic surge.

The Food Blessing food pantry at Glad Tidings Assembly of God off Fulling Mill Road in Lower Swatara Township is holding steady at about 75 parcels of food each distribution, the Rev. John Lanza told the Press & Journal on Monday.

That compares to about 50 before the impact of the pandemic first began to hit around mid April.

The pantry had gone to two distributions each month instead of just one, but is now back to one, Lanza said. Food is distributed at the church every third Wednesday of the month from 6 to 8 p.m.

The best way to help the food pantry is by sending a cash or monetary donation, either to the church by mail or through the church website, www.gtagpa.org.

The Middletown Area Interfaith Council food pantry on Wyoming Street in Royalton has not seen the rise in need at its food bank that it expected to see during the pandemic.

The pantry served a total of 24 households during its two distributions last week on Tuesday and Friday, said the Rev. Britt Strohecker. The food pantry is well-stocked.

Each distribution is held from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the food pantry at 201 Wyoming St.

The Middletown area is also served by the food bank at Grace & Mercy Church on Ann Street. The food bank has seen an increase during the pandemic, but numbers for the bank’s most recent distribution this past Friday were not immediately available.

Grace & Mercy distributes food twice a month at the church, every second and fourth Friday from 3 to 5:30 p.m.

“We are currently in need of more volunteers, especially to help unload the truck,” Grace & Mercy Pastor Florence Abdullah told the Press & Journal.