Mobile food pantry coming to Indian Land Jan. 31

joverman@fortmilltimes.comJanuary 21, 2013 

— The Second Harvest mobile food pantry will roll into the parking lot at Belair United Methodist Church on Jan. 31 at 9 a.m. to pass out food to people in need. This will be the first of the truck’s planned four visits this year.

A valid ID is all that is required to receive food from the Second Harvest truck.

A variety of food is provided.

Belair United Methodist partners with Faith Presbyterian to host the Second Harvest mobile food pantry several times each year. The last time the mobile pantry came to Belair, in October 2012, 200 families were served. The churches also took food left over from the mobile pantry to area agencies including Christian Services in Lancaster and the Senior Center in Indian Land. They also helped replenish the food pantry at Belair United Methodist.

“The response has been great. Each time we increase the amount of food we distribute. It not only takes care of the people who drive up in their cars but also other agencies in the county,” said pastor Jim Northrup of Faith Presbyterian.

People will come from all over York and Lancaster counties to get assistance from the Second Harvest mobile food pantry, Northrup said.

In Lancaster County, the unemployment rate for November, the most recent month statistics were available, was 11 percent. In York County, the unemployment rate in November was 9.2 percent.

Belair and Faith Presbyterian helped sponsor three trucks last year and are excited to add an additional truck to the lineup this year, Northrup said. And while you would think that volunteering to help pass out food to the needy might be a sobering occasion, Northrup and other volunteers have found it to be uplifting, he said.

“It’s kind of a joyous experience to see these people come and see the looks on people’s faces,” Northrup said.

And while many of the people served will be from other communities, many will come from right there in the [Indian Land] Panhandle, he said.

An Indian Land resident himself, Northrup said that he has seen many local folks that need help from the mobile food pantry and the food pantry that is operated regularly at Belair United Methodist Church. Despite Indian Land being a growing area of new home communities, Northrup said that there are still many in the community who are struggling.

“We tend to live in glass houses. Everyone thinks we’re in an affluent community but I’ll tell you there are a few people here who go for food,” Northrup said.

“There are different circumstances where people are doing well and then the bottom falls out. People have health issues and have to decide between paying medical bills and getting food. People struggle in different ways. It’s the economy and the way it is now. And if we can help out in any way right now, we want to.”

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