Volunteers at Bensalem, Pennsylvania food pantry make difference for neighbors in need

BENSALEM, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — Jim Schultz says he spends two days, about 16 hours a week, volunteering to help his community. He volunteers at Harvest Ministries Food Pantry at Cornwells United Methodist Church in Bensalem, Pennsylvania.

“I mainly take care of the bread and desserts,” says Schultz. “Just something I love to do and I don’t know what I would do without it.”

Pantry Coordinator Joann Jordan relies on the many volunteers like Schultz to keep the food pantry running smoothly.

“We’re here to help everyone in the community who is affected by food insecurity,” says Jordan. “We serve Bucks County and Philadelphia County.”

Jordan says her pantry is set up a little differently than most.

“It’s like an open-air farmers’ market, so you can walk through our tents and pick up whatever you need along the way,” says Jordan. “We always have all kinds of fresh produce, fruits and vegetables.”

Russ and Carolyn Lake say this was especially helpful as their household expanded and family members moved in during the pandemic.

“We realized we needed a little help, so we’re coming for the products,” says Russ Lake.

“We get £24,000 of fresh produce from Philabundance every week,” says Jordan. “And we always have groceries available, like canned goods, rice, potatoes and stuff like that.”

And to pass it on, the lakes are now volunteers themselves.

“I usually help with the parking lot,” says Carolyn Lake.

Jordan says the pantry has seen an influx of “everyday people walking in and finding it hard to make ends meet at the grocery store.”

She says volunteers like the Lakes are “a huge help.”

The Lakes and Schultz, all retirees, say they also enjoy the social aspect of volunteering.

Carolyn Lake says she’s made “some wonderful friends” with both clients and volunteers.

“We’re having a good time,” says Schultz. “It makes me feel good.”

“I enjoy giving back to people,” says Russ Lake. “It just feels good that you can help feed people with a basic need.”

“So all you have to do is come in and tell us you need help,” Jordan says. “Were here.”

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https://6abc.com/art-of-aging-bensalem-volunteers-harvest-ministries-food-pantry-helping-others/12489808/ Volunteers at Bensalem, Pennsylvania food pantry make difference for neighbors in need

Alley Einstein

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