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Mobile Food Pantry in Need of New Place to Call Home

POCONO TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- The future of a mobile food pantry that feeds hundreds of people every month in Monroe County is on uneven ground.

The ministry that organizes the food distribution is soon to be without a home.

About three dozen cars lined up in a parking lot on Sunday, well before the one o'clock start time for the monthly food drive from Common Ground Ministries near Tannersville.

Families we spoke with say this mobile food pantry has helped them get by, but they were left wondering if this would be the final distribution.

Braving the chilly temperatures, volunteers with Common Ground Ministries unpacked a van and set up tables topped with all kinds of food.

To some, it might look like some massive tailgate for a big sporting event or concert, but it is all part of a greater purpose.

"A lot of us go through good days, but when we have our bad days, sometimes all you need is hope. And sometimes, a box of food and some meats and things can take you to that next day," said Pastor Everett Upton, Common Ground Ministries.

For the past eight years, Common Ground Ministries has been distributing food to families in need in Monroe County. Once a month, volunteers set up the mobile food pantry in Pocono Township. But the ministry's future is now uncertain. It can't stay in its current warehouse in Tobyhanna because the owner has other plans for the place where the ministry has more than a dozen refrigerators to store food.

"We have to do this. The need is there, and there's no way we cannot do this. The Lord has always made a way, and I think he'll continue to make a way," said Pastor Sherry Upton, Common Ground Ministries.

Just Sunday alone, there were nearly 40 cars lined in the parking lot, meaning dozens and dozens of families in Monroe County are being fed thanks to this mobile food drive. Some of the families tell us the food given out can last them up to two weeks.

"A year ago, we were homeless. Between the rent and everything else, we lost everything. We were living in the car for a while. We just got back on our feet, and this here helps out a lot," said Paul Batalitzky of Scotrun.

"I have a handicapped son at home who works part time, so it's very helpful," said Kathy Jolin of Tobyhanna.

Pastor Upton says for certain there will be no food distribution next month. If the ministry can't find a new warehouse, that hiatus could last even longer.

For more information on Common Ground Ministries, click here.

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