Friends of the Poor hold emergency food drive in Scranton

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Hundreds of families in Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties won’t go hungry thanks to dozens of volunteers.

Two different organizations were providing bags of food and other necessary items for people struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. The Wilkes-Barre Keystone Mission is one place where you can come pick up a bag full of produce and other items Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. But they weren’t the only ones giving out bags full of food Wednesday.

It’s a tag-team effort to help deal with the coronavirus. The Keystone Mission and the Weinberg Food Bank handing out free food. It didn’t take long for word to get around.

“Everyone will get a bag of food,” Keystone Mission executive director Justin Behrens said.

“We start with orange juice and then we do meats and we do potatoes and oranges and stuff,” volunteer Mary Cruikshank said.

Sherman Hills Apartment Complex is one of two locations for the donations. Keystone Mission officials say the fear is real and the need is great.

“People are concerned. They’re scared to be in line. They’re scared to come in there. You can see the fear in everyone’s face,” Behrens said.

The Mission is also practicing good hygiene while they help out hundreds of families.

“We are practicing that social distance, we are practicing all the protocols,” Behrens said.

“I do see a glimpse of hope because if we were able to survive all of the other diseases, flues and sicknesses in the past who says we can’t survive this one too?” Christopher Kelley said.

In Scranton Wednesday, a food giveaway by the Friends of the Poor caused bumper to bumper traffic along Elm Street in Scranton.

“This is an emergency. One people we feel like the need is so great,” board member Linda Robeson said. “A lot of the people that we serve are the working poor and they just don’t have an extra income to stock up if they have to be home-bound for the next two weeks.”

“This is very nice what they’re doing. There’s a lot of people who are in need right now, things are tough right now,” John Albreta said.

The emergency food giveaway was a drive-through but one man stood in the long line of cars to get his items.

“I’m driving through. I’m driving my cart through. I don’t have a car. I’ve got a cart so I’m driving it through,” Scranton resident James Drayton said. “They help me out during this pandemic that we’re having.”

“You hate to see the amount of people that really have food insecurities and that people need so much but I am so happy that I am able to provide just a little bit of comfort and food for them,” Robeson said.

Again Keystone Mission will be here Monday through Friday. People are limited to come once a week.

They will be holding these special hours while the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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