The Seven Loaves Soup Kitchen has an abundance of donations to sort through thanks to generosity from the community.
The Bridgewater Church organized a drive-by food supply event at the Tunkhannock soup kitchen on Saturday in hopes of overstocking its shelves, thus allowing volunteers to continue serving those in need throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It will continue to help with needs in meal preparation and making pantry items available for clients to get groceries,” said Seven Loaves Mission Coordinator Donna Shaffer.
Even though Seven Loaves has been shut down for dine-in service since mid-March, its volunteers have been packaging takeout meals for distribution every weeknight from 5 to 6 p.m. Bagged groceries are also available.
When Wyoming County lifts more restrictions on businesses in the green phase of Gov. Tom Wolf’s reopening plan, Shaffer said Seven Loaves will continue operating on a takeout basis only at least through the summer.
Anyone who prefers curbside pickup for meals can call 570-996-5005 to have a volunteer come to their vehicle. In conjunction with the Wyoming County Food Emergency Distribution, meals have also been delivered around the county.
Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday during meal pickup hours, the soup kitchen also offers food pantry items for people to take home.
“The community has been very generous with donating everything from money to takeout supplies, paper products, and just anything that we have needed,” Shaffer said.
Pastor Rich Clark from Bridgewater Church in Tunkhannock said inspiration for the event came from other churches feeding their communities down south. Bridgewater incorporated the drive-by food supply into its #ForTunkhannock initiative.
“Too many times, too many people hear what churches are against. We want our community to know what we are for, and we are #ForTunkhannock,” Clark said.
#ForTunkhannock has a presence on Facebook and Instagram. The church uses it to build bridges between its people and the greater community by celebrating accomplishments, sharing inspirational posts and informing people of ways they could help their neighbors.
Clark only advertised the donation event a week ahead of time and was pleased with the turnout, as well as his congregation and people in the area for stepping up for one another. Some even left with #ForTunkhannock car decals.
“At the end of the day, seeing all the bags and boxes was just wonderful,” Shaffer said.
Seven Loaves Soup Kitchen accepts monetary donations by mail at 51 Warren St., Tunkhannock PA 18657. Call the soup kitchen to make arrangements for food donations.