Bushkill Outreach Plans to Stay Open

LEHMAN TOWNSHIP -- There's some good news coming out of the Bushkill Outreach Food and Clothing Pantry. It was going to close at the end of the month, but now those plans have changed.

"I am very happy that they are. I am very happy they are staying open," said Slawkl Dnistran, Middle Smithfield Township.

The pantry has been there for 30 years.

Volunteers heard about the plan to close.  They decided to keep it open by taking over the fundraising operation.

"People just thought it was time to move on and they were going to pass it to another church. But the volunteers are very passionate here and the board, the old board were very receptive to that," said Joe Ballestrieri, Bushkill Outreach President.

The Outreach Center started running down its stock because they thought it would be closing at the end of the month. It was just a few days ago that they got the good word they would be staying open. So now, they are working to refill food and clothing donations.

The pantry supplies food and clothing for more than 1,000  people throughout Monroe and Pike Counties.

John Grillow from Marshalls Creek visits the place once a month.

"For a change it's something positive that a place is staying and not leaving. It's a very good thing to happen to us and it's very good for the community," said Grillow.

"A lot of people depend on us and we are hoping to keep everything going just the way we have in the past. They did a great job in the past and we are going to try and keep it going," said Ballestrieri.

Officials say the only change will be to hours. It will still be open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, but only from 8 a.m. until noon.

Anyone interested in donating food and clothing can drop items off at the Outreach Center in Lehman Township.