Church Food Pantry Feed Hundreds of Families

BLAKELY — A food pantry run by a church in Lackawanna County has grown a lot since members started it six years ago.

So much so, volunteers handed out 11 tons of food Thursday to more than 500 families.

At times it looked like the cars were lined up for a concert or sporting event, but the people in bright orange vests at Peckville Assembly of God in Blakely weren’t directing traffic they were taking orders.

Each car is filled with groceries and goes to families all over Lackawanna County.

Cheryl Kundla waited 45 minutes in line for a little bit of help she said her family needs right now.

“We do as we can and we`re grateful when the time comes when we need a little bit that we can. It`s hard, it`s hard on some people`s pride, but my husband said it`s time, we need to, and it`s ok,” said Kundla.

On the third Thursday of every month, volunteers from Peckville Assembly of God distribute food to families in need.

As their donations from members and stores went up, so did the unemployment rate in Lackawanna County. So, the need and the line grew. The distribution became a well oiled machine that requires about 30 volunteers.

“It`s really like an assembly line, that`s what it is. Cars come through and each person puts a bag in and makes it complete,” said volunteer John Bancala.

“It`s tiresome, yes, but I enjoy what I`m doing. I know I`m helping a lot of people out,” added volunteer Basil Jane.

Members of Peckville Assembly of God started the food distribution six years ago. Back then, they used a closet to store the food.

Now they store 11 tons of food in a warehouse each month but they`re outgrowing it. They are looking to build a new one twice the size of the church campus along Business Route 6.

“We never question God`s size, we just got to be ready to serve. So, none of us can question how big are we going to get,” said volunteer Paul Clark.

So, the volunteers will wait for a sign from above to stop. While the cars full of fresh food heading out of their parking lot only tell them to keep going.

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