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Free summer lunch program under way in Monroe County

The Pleasant Valley Ecumenical Network Food Pantry near Brodheadsville is hosting a free summer program for families in need.

BRODHEADSVILLE, Pa. — The parking lot at Western Pocono Community Library near Brodheadsville is doubling as a drive-thru for families this summer.

The Pleasant Valley Ecumenical Network Food Pantry is using a section to hand out meals to families in need in the west end of Monroe County.

"It's amazing and a lifesaver. Especially when they go to day care, I don't have to worry about finding food and jumping through all the hoops to make lunches," said Alisha Agliata of Effort.

Free bagged meals with cereal, milk, sandwiches, fresh fruit, and more will be available to children under 18. There's enough for two breakfasts and two lunches in each package.

Taylor Fox, the coordinator, says the program has been going on since 2015, but it's more important now than ever before.

"I definitely think it's important because especially since we are slowly going back to a new normal, but the pandemic is still impacting families, so this is a great way to support families in the area," said Fox.

About 50 percent of students in this area qualify for a free or reduced lunch. When school is out for the summer, that need still must be met. It's why this program is very important to families.

"Prices have skyrocketed for everything with the fruit. I mean, they aren't able to get fruit if we didn't have this," said Agliata.

Maria Roseo lives in Kunkletown. She was picking up meals for her young children.

"It's absolutely amazing. It helps a lot, honestly, especially with two young little ones who are always hungry. He has an appetite, and it's wonderful. It helps me a lot being a single mom. It does," said Roseo.

Lunches will be handed out at the library on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

You can also grab food at Deubler's Mobile Homes on Tuesdays and the Sun Valley Fire Station on Thursdays. 

Pickup times are from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.