Jenkins Township, Luzerne County — The spacious new home of the Commission on Economic Opportunity in Luzerne County is very focused this month on an old problem – hunger. “It affects the family next door, the people down the street. And food insecurity and hunger are something that we can solve,” said Gretchen Hunt who is Director of Nutrition Programs with the Commission on Economic Opportunity and Weinberg Regional Food Bank. The organization is trying to raise awareness and healthy food donations for September which is Hunger Action Month. Ms. Hunt says hunger is a silent problem. “You get your electric bill shut off when you don’t pay your electric but the grocery store doesn’t come calling when you don’t show up to buy food.”
The new CEO facility that opened four months ago in Jenkins Township serves as a distribution center for organizations that serve people in Luzerne, Lackawanna, Susquehanna and Wyoming Counties including Back Mountain Food Pantry. “Our food pantry is very close to being empty,” said Joe Hardisky of Dallas. He stopped Tuesday morning to pick up food at the CEO facility and restock Back Mountain Food Pantry where he volunteers. Mr. Hardisky said his experience has been an eye opener. “We drive around the Back Mountain and we look and we see all these very beautiful homes and we fail to realize that that is not the whole Back Mountain.”
Part of the solution to solving hunger requires more volunteers like Bob Ash of Trucksville. “I’m helping other people and I like that,” said the volunteer with Back Mountain Food Pantry.
Ms. Hunt said solving hunger also requires more donations of both food and money. “If you can make a financial contribution to help us keep this food warehouse moving and going so that the millions of pounds of food that come through our doors every year can get out and actually feed the people who are hungry in our community.”
You can learn more about hunger and ways to help by clicking here.