No longer are the cabinets barren for a ministry of Palmerton Area churches.

A truck load of donated nonperishable items were recently collected by the Claddagh Keepers at the second annual food pantry fundraiser held on Thanksgiving Eve at the West End Saloon in Palmerton.

The items collected were then donated to the Christian Action Council of Palmerton Area Churches, according to Claddagh Keepers Vice President Cindy Gasper.

As was the case at last year's inaugural food pantry fundraiser, Country Harvest Family Market in Palmerton was once again a big contributor, Gasper said.

"Many thanks to owners Chris and Sherri Anthony for their support again this year," Gasper said. "They also were kind enough to attend the event to see first hand what a great benefit this has become."

The local band, Leaders of the Press, attracted a standing room only crowd again this year, Gasper said.

"Derrick Drey (owner of the West End Saloon) was again kind enough to host the event, and also donate $100 to the food bank," she said. "Claddagh Keepers would also like to thank all those who attended and supported this great cause."

Gasper said the donations couldn't have come at a better time.

"With government cuts, more help is needed to provide food for those living on the edge, especially the children," she said. "There were a lot of donations of food items geared for children, which is what we like to promote."

Recently, Stanley Haupt, executive director, of the Shepherd House Inc., of Lehighton, said Carbon County has received $12,226 this year from the Emergency Food and Shelter Program. The Shepherd House Inc., of Lehighton, is the lead agency for the nine food pantries in Carbon County.

That was in stark contrast to last year, when the county did not receive funds from the organization after it was deemed not eligible because the government said both the unemployment level and poverty level were below their guidelines.

Anyone who would like to join Claddagh Keepers should attend the West End Saloon, where they meet at 8 p.m. every third Thursday.

The group focuses on everyone working together and getting along for the good of the cause; adhering to the Claddagh meaning.

Those who would like to join may do so on Facebook under Claddagh Keepers.