Bagging to Fight Hunger

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DALEVILLE -- Some milk, bread, and other essentials are on everyone's grocery list, but not everyone in Northeastern Pennsylvania can afford to pick up these items and more at the store. That's why Thomas Byers is helping to bag groceries today at the ShopRite in Daleville.

"I`m here to help give back to the community, part of volunteering with the fire company is to help our neighbors and that`s what we`re doing here," said Byers who is a volunteer firefighter with the Thronhurst Fire and Rescue Co.

The annual Partners in Caring Day brings in 'celebrity baggers' like Byers to the store as cashiers collect donations from shoppers to give to local food pantries.

"This year I think that the need has become greater and we`ve heard from customers coming in this is so wonderful and where do we go to get involved, and where do we go if we need food," said Kim Fells, ShopRite Human Resource Manager.

Last year`s Day of Caring bagged up more than $10,000 in donations for local food pantries, and they`re hoping this year`s will do the same.

"It`s wonderful because there`s a lot of people that need help, so it`s good for people to make a dollar. It doesn`t break you, so that`s a good thing," said Gloria Sames of Roaring Brook Township.

All of the donations from the Daleville ShopRite will come here to the CEO Weinberg's food bank in Wilkes-Barre before it's distributed.

The food bank's development director said they see about 10,000 different people per week and the need has continued to grow.

"People who perhaps never needed help before are now in a situation where they need help, and people who are kind of on the border of just barely making it in life providing for their families aren`t making it anymore," said Gretchen Hunt, Development Director.

Hunt said events like the one at ShopRite keep their doors open.

"Every donation matters because it`s another mouth that`s being fed," said Hunt.

ShopRite will be taking all of the donations to the food bank later this month and their store in Mount Pocono will take donations to the Lehigh Valley Food Bank as well.