For over 25 years on the Fourth of July weekend the local chapter of a motorcycle club pulls up outside the food pantry where I volunteer to deliver the results of their annual food drive. This year was no exception. On July 2nd three pickup trucks towing utility trailers loaded with food, diapers, personal hygiene products, cleaning products and paper products arrived, bringing the food pantry Christmas in July! During the month of June, members from Chester County A.B.A.T.E. set up outside local grocery stores on the weekends to collect donations for this drive. Additionally, club members take any financial donations they receive and purchase items the pantry needs, but are not usually donated in a food drive, like the personal hygiene products, diapers and paper products.
This considerably large donation comes at a great time of year. Food banks and pantries, ours included, often get most of their large donations in the late fall, right before the holidays, so by the summer donated supplies are running low. Additionally, summer is often a time when food pantry usage goes up, as children, who may normally receive two meals a day at school during the school year, are home for the summer. This sizeable donation helps in another way, by allowing us to bring new items into the pantry and fill in the gaps in our staple items, like pasta, beans, rice and vegetables. I can see the difference this donation has made already. Our shelves are completely stocked, including personal care items, diapers, and items for the homeless.
Operating a food bank, cupboard or pantry would be impossible without the generosity of those who donate. We are fortunate to get individual and organization donations regularly throughout the year. As a matter of fact, as I was leaving the pantry on Tuesday I held the door open for a lady bringing in a box of donated food. Additionally, several churches drop off regular donations from parishioners. Sizeable donations like this one, however, coming at a time of year when most people are focused on things other than food drives, help us better serve those in need in our community. So to the members of this motorcycle club I say a heartfelt thank you and safe ride!