SHAMOKIN, Pa. — The Shamokin Coal Township Salvation Army helps nearly 500 families every year at its Christmas distribution. But this year, that number will be higher because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"People are out of work. Normal people who are usually out of work at this time are finding that there's more of a need this year than ever," said Brian Persing.
Persing is in charge of the Shamokin Coal Township Salvation Army's annual food distribution. He says they usually give out chickens, but this year they could not get them because of the pandemic. The organization is looking for monetary donations to provide 500 to 600 hams.
"We need a lot of hams, and I'm just hoping that we're able to come up with enough money to do this."
There are several ways you can donate, one of which is stopping by Irish Isle Provision in Coal Township.
"I think we can get through this if all of us come together. If we can give $1 to the Salvation Army," said Earl Sheriff, owner of Irish Isle Provision.
Sheriff is providing all of the hams at cost: $13.
"What hurts is that when you see a family with a bunch of children and you know they're not eating right. It makes me feel good to do it," Sheriff said.
If you would like to help, you can call Irish Isle Provisions at 570-648-6893 to donate or mail a check to:
Irish Isle Provisions c/o Brian Persing,
914 W. Wood Street,
Coal Township, PA 17866
The deadline to order hams is December 21, the day of the distribution.