– The Honesdale Emergency Food Pantry (HEFP) has a new location thanks to the First Presbyterian Church.
Formerly located on 4th Street, the HEFP is located at the First Presbyterian Church Vineyard Center on 761 Terrace Street.
“The church gave us the space and they've been very generous,” said HEFP President Sharon Herzog. “We are very thankful to the church for giving us a free, new home.”
The HEFP is a 501 (c)(3) organization and was founded in 1982. It runs solely on private donations.
“We have no government support at all,” said longtime volunteer Betty Bodie.
She is also a founding member.
“We appreciate all of the donations we get,” Herzog stated.
She added they get private and civic donations.
In the spring, the HEFP was the recipient of food collected through the Stamp Out Hunger program. It was around 2,400 pounds of food.
The HEFP isn't the same type of organization as the Wayne County Food Pantry.
“There needs to be an emergency,” stresses Herzog.
What constitutes as an emergency can include loss of a job or illness.
“We get references from local churches and social service organizations,” Herzog said. “We work to help them get over the bridge to move on.”
If a family is having an emergency and needs food from the HEFP, they must reach out to social service organizations or churches first.
“We give food to the organizations, who then give the food to the families,” Herzog explained. “Most of the time we don't meet the client.”
She added confidentiality is very important.
Bodie said the food is given to the families within a day.
The amount of food given depends on the size of the family.
“We help between 30 and 40 families a month,” Herzog said. “That can be up to 100 people depending on family sizes.”
Members of the HEFP are appreciative of Dave's Super Duper, which gives them a discount on food they purchase.
Some of the food given out includes milk, eggs, cheese, meat, chicken, fruits and vegetables.
“We try to give as many fresh fruits and vegetables we can,” said Herzog. “We try to make it as healthy as possible.”
She added they accommodate with food allergies and diet restrictions as well.
“We do the best we can with the money we have,” Herzog said.
The HEFP is always looking for donations of food and funds.
Herzog said they are in need of staple foods such as pancake mix, peanut butter, assorted jellies, canned foods and more.
Food donations can be dropped off on Mondays from 1-3 p.m. or by special arrangement.
Monetary donations can be dropped off during that time as well. They can also be mailed to the Honesdale Emergency Pantry, P.O. Box 14, Honesdale, PA 18431.
The HEFP has around 25 members. There is no paid staff.
“We can always use more volunteers,” said Herzog.
She said they can help with filling shelves, get trained to fill orders and be a phone liaison.
“Everyone involved is pleased we can help with a need in our community,” said HEFP Treasurer Mary Murray.
Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer with the HEFP can call Sharon Herzog at (570) 253-5294, Betty Bodie at (570) 253-3142 or Mary Murray at (570) 253-3351.