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Food bank shelves replenished

July 16, 2003|by MARLO BARNHART

WILLIAMSPORT - The response was overwhelming to the SOS sent out in late June during a crisis at the Williamsport food bank that nearly stripped its shelves due to high demand and a slowing of contributions.

"Food has been coming in from everywhere," said Mary Anna Kline, director of the food bank at Zion Lutheran Church for the past 22 years.

Last week, Kline reported she received food from as far away as Mercersburg, Pa. The Hancock Lions Club made a sizable contribution, as have other service organizations, churches and individuals.

"A lady drove up the other day and said she had a trunk full of food for us," Kline said, citing an example she said has been repeated over and over. Now the shelves are well stocked again even though demand still is high.

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In late June, the cupboards virtually were bare of food as a result of unusually high demand complicated by the recent strike at Garden State Tanning.

The food bank has refrigerator and freezer capacities for items that need to be kept cold. Donated money is used to purchase those items, Kline said. People and groups are encouraged to contribute cash and checks so food bank personnel can buy bulk food from government warehouse programs and elsewhere to beef up supplies.

The food bank at the 35 W. Potomac St. church has been serving Williamsport for 30 years. It is open Mondays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon for picking up and dropping off food and household items.

Emergency needs can be met at other times by calling the church at 301-223-7260.

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