Palmerton family market donates food for Christian Action Council
TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS Sandra Williamson of Palmerton stuffs her turkey into a bag as volunteer Ed Weiss and Palmerton Lions President George Unangst watch outside St. John's Lutheran Church in Palmerton on Friday.
A Palmerton family market has done its part to ensure those less fortunate don't go hungry this Thanksgiving holiday.
Out of the goodness of their hearts, the three families who own Country Harvest Family Market on Friday donated turkeys and chickens to the Christian Action Council of Palmerton Area Churches (CACPAC).
The turkeys and chickens were given out both at the Country Harvest Family Market, as well as St. John's Lutheran Church to CACPAC, a ministry of 15 Palmerton Area churches.
Sandra Williamson of Palmerton was eager to receive her allotment of food.
"I'm just happy that they do it," Williamson said. "I'm on Social Security disability and a fixed income, so it helps."
Charlie Silliman, pantry coordinator for CACPAC, noted that in 2010, CACPAC averaged 150 families per month, or, 383 persons per month. Just last month alone, he said 154 families were served, or 392 persons.
Richard Nothstein, co-owner, Country Harvest Family Market, said last year's Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds amounted to $46,033 for the Carbon County pantries. This year under the State Set-Aside Program, he said it only amounts to $6,076, which represents a $39,957 decrease.
In addition, Nothstein said the State Food Purchase Program funds have been cut by $2,473, which makes a total loss of $42,430 to the nine Shepherd House pantries throughout the county this year.
To make matters worse, Nothstein said all pantries continue to experience a sizable increase in the number of clients who request food each month.
Palmerton's CACPAC pantry has seen their clients increase over 30 percent the past two years, while many other county pantries have experienced similar increases.
"It would be our hope that other individuals and organizations will pitch in to help all the community pantries throughout the county and to Shepherd House who apportions funds among all the pantries based on clients served," Nothstein said.