ULSTER, Pa. — Volunteers loaded 800 boxes of fresh food and gallons of milk into hundreds of cars at this Dairy Farm near Ulster in Bradford County on Tuesday.
"Right now, with the COVID, a lot of people are homebound, and this is helping them big time with their groceries and helping supplement their needs," said Lisa Shallenberger of Sayre.
The giveaway was funded through a grant from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program and put on by the American Dairy Association Northeast.
The products given away weren't sourced here at Harnish Farms. Lynnette and Eric Shedden, who own Harnish Farms in Ulster Township, opened their business to hold the event because they know people in their community need access to fresh food.
"Fresh food obviously has more nutrients. It's important for people's bodies to get vitamins that are taken out when foods are processed, canned," said Lynnette Shadden of Harnish Farms. "So, getting direct from non-shelf stable to produce, meat, and dairy, you know, you're getting nutrients that you aren't on canned food."
The distribution took about two hours, with little to no downtime for volunteers.
Ahead of the event, hundreds of cars lined up to wait for the giveaway. The line started from the Harnish Farms and stretched down Sheshequin Road for miles.
"Milk, meat and stuff, this is stuff that people need," said Jim Neice of South Waverly. "They can't get it. I mean, there's no work. I mean, with the corona, it's like they rolled up the sidewalks when it first started. But you can see by the turnout of the people, there's a lot of people that need it."
The food was purchased through Sysco Distributors and given out by volunteers. Volunteers included members of the Troy VFW, local fire companies, and other community members.
The owners of Harnish Farms were thrilled to see their space used to help their neighbors in need.
"It brings a lot of great people together. There's a lot of great people that come together as volunteers that wouldn't normally be standing on the farm right now," Shadden said.
The food given away totaled about 27,000 lbs.