As Virus Stats Rise, So Does Daily Bread Help
COLLEGEVILLE PA – The need for food among Perkiomen Valley families affected by the coronavirus outbreak is rising steadily, Loretta Steiver, director of the Daily Bread Community Food Pantry, said Saturday (March 28, 2020) in an e-mail.
During February the pantry, 3938 Ridge Pike, served 261 families and provided for more than a thousand individuals who lacked enough groceries for meals. Since the pandemic made its way to eastern Pennsylvania, Daily Bread has seen “a sharp increase in families registering for food pick-up(s).” Eighteen have signed up during the last two weeks alone, Steiver added.
Several local government sources indicate business closures, school closures, layoffs, and reduced working hours have taken their toll on families in the valley, as elsewhere. Many are desperate, she acknowledges.
“One new client burst into tears upon seeing her food,” Steiver wrote. The client said she had ‘been watching the news and seeing the bare shelves. I have zero income and cannot afford to go shopping anyway.’ She feared the pantry “would not have anything left either,” the e-mail reported.
On its Facebook page, Daily Bread said the pantry “remains open following our normal client schedule” during the outbreak. For registered recipients, it operates Wednesdays from 9-11 a.m., Thursdays from 6-8 p.m., and Saturdays 9-11 a.m. Its volunteers work Thursday afternoons and Friday evenings to restock shelves and prepare for following morning distributions. For information about registering or volunteering, call 610-489-5540.
The pantry is also open Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon to accept donations (at top), and during food emergencies to accept food drop-offs from community partners. Almost all food items or financial contributions are welcomed, it noted, but particularly in demand now are canned meats, cereal, juice, tomato products, spaghetti sauce, jelly, and canned pastas.
Also needed are baby wipes, bars of soap, shampoo, laundry and dish soap, tissues, and any cleaning products. That’s because those particular items can’t be purchased by clients using food stamps.
Photo from Daily Bread Community Food Pantry