Many empty shelves at area food pantries
Boy Scouts have been collecting food all month for the Greater Washington County Food Bank and will wrap up their effort this weekend. It’s important that the campaign is successful, because many shelves in food pantries throughout Washington and Greene counties are bare.
The need for donations of food and the cash to buy it has never been greater, Mundy Fergus, volunteer director of the Community Circle Food Pantry for the past 25 years, told the Washington Rotary Club earlier this week. Tough economic times deliver a one-two punch to the pantries. More people rely on them for basic food needs, and thus fewer people are in a position to donate to the pantries, Fergus said.
The Greater Washington Food Bank is part of a larger network – the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, which encompasses 11 counties in Southwestern Pennsylvania. The fact that unemployment has been declining in this region and is lower than the national average has had little effect on the need for food. That may be because most salaries have remained stagnant while prices for housing, medical care, gasoline and food, especially, continue to rise relentlessly.
Washington County’s food bank serves 5,200 registered households.
Last fiscal year, it distributed 1.8 million pounds of food through its 38 pantries.
Although the Scouting for Food month of April is nearly over, our concern about hunger should be continuous. Food donations are more than welcome, but what our food bank can use most effectively is money, so shortages of critical items can be addressed immediately. Donations may be mailed to the Greater Washington County Food Bank, 1020 Route 519, Eighty Four, PA 15330, or the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, 1 N. Linden St., Duquesne, PA 15110.