The Leadership Wayne class of 2014 is undertaking a project to benefit the Wayne County Food Pantry.
The Pantry Project provides for a growing number of families and will help stock the shelves in the community.
"There is always a need," said one of the organizers and class members, Jennifer Noble.
In order to raise awareness, Leadership Wayne is collecting this month non-perishable food and personal care items throughout the community.
Noble said it is gratifying "just knowing that you're helping the community."
In addition to nutritious, non-perishable food, items being accepted are: toothbrushes, toothpaste, household cleaners, shampoo, soap, feminine products, razors, baby supplies, deodorant, toilet paper and paper towels.
Local businesses and nonprofit organizations are serving as donation locations.
Donations may be dropped off at: all locations of The Dime Bank; Hawley Silk Mill; all locations of Honesdale National Bank; Re/Max Wayne; Watson Brothers; all locations of Wayne Bank; Wayne County Chamber of Commerce; Wayne County Courthouse buildings (lobby, Park Street, Aging Office, jail); and any Wayne County library.
The pantry usually only takes food donations, but Noble thought it was important to have the personal care items, too.
There are times when a person is forced to choose between getting a loaf of bread or getting toothpaste, she said.
In that case, people will choose the bread, yet they need both items.
"They need to take care of their bodies, too," Noble said.
The organizer said the class came up with the idea of The Pantry Project after visiting pantry locations and talking with the coordinator, Kathleen Terry. The class recognized there was a need for supplies.
Noble said the pantry is in constant need of food, not just during the winter holiday season. She hopes the month-long project will make a difference.
"Every little bit helps," she said.
Terry said the project will be a big boost for the pantry because the spring is typically a slow time for donations.
Also, pantry dollars cannot be spent on personal care items, and those donations are very important.
"It makes it more well-rounded," Terry said, noting that visitors will get more variety.
In a typical month the pantry's five locations serve about 580 households, Terry said.
The 2014 Leadership Wayne class consists of 17 people from 16 businesses completing a 10-month program sponsored by the Pocono Lake, Southern Wayne and Wayne County chambers of commerce.
The purpose of Leadership Wayne is to educate potential leaders residing and/or employed in in the county regarding all aspects of the community. As a result of the program, Wayne County will benefit from an informed group of individuals who are capable of providing leadership to the community and the voluntary organizations.
This year’s class includes: Michelle Budzilowicz, Maurice Dennis, Lisa Dowse, Stephanie French, James Gardas, Mark James, Pamela Kerber, Simon Knox, Kelly Kyzer, Anna Layman Knox, Kimberly Marcyoniak, Jennifer Noble, Kellyn Nolan, Tracy Schwarz, Nicholas Spinelli, Luke Turano and Jeremy Watson.
Anyone with questions on the project may email firstname.lastname@example.org.