The Greater Washington County Food Bank, which reported a 300% increase in food need in April, will hold several Truck to Trunk distributions in May.
The food bank saw its largest distributions in the nonprofit’s 35-year history in April, and is expecting the need for food to be even greater in May.
“We usually distribute between 48,000 and 50,000 pounds of food in a month,” said Connie Burd, executive director. “We started April with the anticipation that these numbers would double, then revised our expectations upward, but we did not anticipate seeing a 300% increase in those registering for emergency food assistance. And these numbers are climbing on a daily basis.”
The Food Bank hasn’t turned anyone away who has needed help. With the help of the community, it has been able to provide shelf-stable goods and fresh goods like bakery and produce to thousands of families who live in Washington County.
Burd said many families relied on income from jobs in neighboring counties like Allegheny County that have been eliminated due to COVID-19.
“We are proud that we have been able to continue to provide fresh items to everyone, even with the overwhelming need we are seeing,” expressed Lorraine Johnson, pantry liaison.
Individuals needing food are asked to fill out an online form that can be found on the food bank website, www.gwcfb.org. Based on their home address, they will be assigned to one of the Truck to Trunk drive-thru distribution sites.
The sites and the communities they serve are listed on the food bank’s website. They also are posted here:
Site 1: First Saturday, Coal Center. 9 to 11 a.m. at Grace United Methodist Church 420 California Dr., Coal Center. Servicing California, Beth Center, Centerville, Coal Center, Marianna, and Ellsworth pantries.
Site 2: Second Monday in McGuffey. 9 to 11 a.m at 4170 Route 40 (across from Sunset Beach), Claysville. Servicing McGuffey and Prosperity pantries.
Site 3: Third Monday at Donora pantry. From 9 to 11 a.m. at Mon Valley Youth and Teen Center, 160 Thompson Ave., Donora. Servicing Donora pantry.
Site 4: Third Tuesday in Allenport. From 9 to 11 a.m. at 1850 Main St., Allenport. Servicing Allenport and Charleroi pantries.
Site 5: Third Wednesday in Burgettstown. From 9 to 11 a.m. at 1616 Smith Township State Rd., Atlasburg. Servicing Burgettstown and Avella pantries.
Site 6: Second Thursday in Monongahela. From 9 to 11 a.m. at First United Methodist Church, 430 W. Main St., Monongahela. Servicing Monongahela pantry.
Site 7: Third Friday in Canonsburg. From 9 to 11 a.m. at Canonsburg United Presbyterian Church, 112 W. Pike St., Canonsburg. Servicing Canonsburg, Peters Township, and Finleyville pantries.
Site 8: Third Saturday in Meadow Lands from 9 to 11 a.m. at 300 Pike St., Meadow Lands. Servicing Meadow Lands and Tylerdale pantries.
Site 9: Fourth Wednesday in McDonald. From 9 to 11 a.m. at McDonald Municipal Building, 151 School St., McDonald. Servicing McDonald pantry.
Site 10: Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon at Community Circle Pantry, 69 E. Pine St., Washington. Servicing downtown Washington.
Joy Braunstein, donor relations coordinator, thanked the community for its generosity. She said businesses are donating in-kind products and running virtual food drives for the food bank.
Foundations like the Washington County Community Foundation have made investments in operations and distributions, and people have stepped up to volunteer and donate.
“But in order to keep up, we will need more help, especially cash donations that we use to buy food and supplies,” Braunstein said.
In other developments, the Country Thrift Market will reopen for customers and donation drop-offs beginning Friday. The store, at 909 National Pike West in Brownsville, has an assortment of personal hygiene and food products, and serves as a drop-off location for donations.
The store is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m..
The food bank will enforce strict social distancing rules, including that all shoppers must wear masks, as ordered by Gov. Tom Wolf, and all children must be in a shopping cart.
Donations of food and other items will only be taken on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and must be coordinated with the person working at the register before they are brought inside.