Pantry for 15 Palmerton Area churches filled again after drive
Special to the TIMES NEWS Members of the "Claddagh Keepers" who hosted a can drive on Thanksgiving Eve at the West End Saloon in Palmerton include (bottom) Lynn Shupp, (second row, l-r) Amy Lalik, Tara Willingham, Kelly Jo Achey, Dee Evans, Stuart Henritzy, (third row, l-r) Melissa Binder, Tim Lorah, Melissa Kolnik, Tina Ahner, (top row, l-r) Cindy Gasper and Lorraine Paules.
Their cupboards are bare no more.
Thanks to a newly-formed "circle of friends", the shelves of a ministry of 15 Palmerton Area churches are a whole lot fuller.
As part of their inaugural "giving event", the "Claddagh Keepers" collected two carloads of food as part of a can drive held on Thanksgiving Eve at the West End Saloon in Palmerton.
The food - which was provided by the Country Harvest Family Market in Palmerton - was donated to the Christian Action Council of Palmerton Area Churches (CACPAC).
Cindy Gasper, a member of the group, said the can drive "filled the pantry again after it was depleted for Thanksgiving."
A band called the Leaders of the Press, performed at the saloon, said Gasper, who added her group volunteered their time to help the restaurant staff during the event to make it easier for all.
"The crowd that came was standing room only," Gasper said. "We also want to thank the West End Saloon for being the host site, and an extra thank you to Country Harvest for their large donation of food."
Gasper said the group is a newly-formed "circle of friends" called "Claddagh Keepers".
"Our goal is to promote giving, but also promote businesses by having them donate their venue for our events," she said. "Of course we all want to have fun events too. All-in-all, it benefits everyone."
Gasper said the group received a thank-you from Charlie Silliman, pantry coordinator, "for all the wonderful donations, and to [say] they were inundated with people [last week] Friday needing food. He was especially happy that we followed the list guidelines, so it was all good food, and especially geared toward children, which is what our goal was."
Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, the three families who own the Country Harvest Family Market once again donated turkeys and chickens to 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.
Client pickup was held the Friday before Thanksgiving at St. John's Lutheran Church. On that day alone, there were 203 households, or 585 people served, Silliman said.
Due to the high demand, the group ran out of turkeys and chickens, said Silliman, who personally went to Country Harvest afterward to pick up additional turkeys and chickens for those who couldn't get them initially.
Silliman said that In 2011, CACPAC averaged 151 families per month, or, 401 people per month.
Carbon County was not eligible for Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds because the government said both the unemployment level and poverty level were below their guidelines."
Silliman said people may call (610) 826-4335 if they would like to schedule a time to drop food off at the pantry.
For information on the "Claddagh Keepers", contact Gasper at (610) 826-6428.