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Food giveaways crowded as food costs continue to rise

A monthly food distribution in Lackawanna County was held Wednesday, and we found more and more people are seeking help.

JERMYN, Pa. — Volunteers loaded up bags of food inside the St. James/St. George Episcopal Church in Jermyn. The monthly food pantry has operated for about a decade. Church members say the need was great during the pandemic, and they're starting to see an increase again.

"It's a shame," Ron Fowler said. "Some people come in and tell you that they're embarrassed that they're taking the food, but it's either make a car payment or utility bill or go to the grocery store because everything is so high."

Philip Hudson came to the distribution early. He says times have been hard, and the extra food is appreciated.

"It means a lot to me because I don't have much. I'm on Social Security," Hudson said. "I have my wife and myself. With the rent and everything, you just can't afford to go buy food."

If there was any doubt about the need in the community, you can see that the line wraps all the way around the church.

Marie Granville was in that long line of cars. She says the cost of everything these days has forced people with limited income to seek help at area food pantries like this one.

"All over they're jammed with people, places like the churches and different places down in Peckville in that they have tons and tons of people. I mean, the way prices are going right now, people can't afford anything," Granville said.

"If we run out of food, we tell them go down to Jackson Terrace, or I have gift cards in here for Quinn's Supermarket, we give it to them, but we've tried to keep everything going," Fowler added.

The church pantry passes out food on the last Wednesday of every month.

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