Food Pantry Helps Battle Hunger

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BLACK CREEK TOWNSHIP -- Volunteers in a small community in Luzerne County are helping to feed their neighbors in a big way.

Black Creek Township opened a food pantry Wednesday in an area that has its share of older residents.

Township officials recently secured casino money to build a new municipal building, but to get the money, they also had to figure out what to do with the old township building on Park Street near Bloomsburg.

"In the grant, we wrote that we would open this into a food pantry if we were given the grant, so this is the final step," said township supervisor Dennis Ferrar.

Township officials thought the community could use a food pantry, but leaders were quickly surprised at how big the need is. Nearly 40 families already signed up to receive food, many of them elderly.

"It's convenient because a lot of people out here don't drive, and there ain't buses or nothing around here," said township resident Richard Neaus.

"Considering a lot of people don't get raises in Social Security or anything, so this will help," added Billy Buchinsky.

The pantry is stocked full with non-perishables and some fresh food, too. It's staffed with more than a dozen volunteers from nearby churches.

"I'm a retired nurse. I worked all my life. It feels really good to know I'm helping all these people, truly helping them with food on their table," said volunteer Carol Myers.

The food comes from an area food bank plus donations from the community. People who receive food appreciate that there's no income requirement. The only question volunteers ask is for people to show they're a resident of Black Creek Township.