SCRANTON, Pa. -- Nonperishable food items and canned goods are typical items in a food pantry, but new opportunities at the United Neighborhood Centers in Scranton mean some fresher food.
The food pantry at the United Neighborhood Centers in downtown Scranton is expanding, now offering items fresher than what's in a typical food pantry.
"I got my oranges, my carrots, and stuff here. It saves me money. I just went to the store and got some onions, and I was low on money, so come here to get my fruits and vegetables and bread," said Henry Mack.
For the first time, the United Neighborhood Centers offers fresh fruits and vegetables for visitors who need a little extra help with groceries.
"It's exciting because a lot of times at a food pantry you get things that preserve well and that's a lot easier for a food pantry to hand out. Now, people can start cooking with fresh ingredients, and it's healthier," said Gus Fahey, United Neighborhood Centers.
Every month, a new spice is introduced, and employees here offer a recipe to go with the spice of the month.
"So people can learn how to use paprika, or turmeric, some spices that we're not necessarily used to using, but when combined with foods like lentils or beans, can really be terrific and a good part of a healthy diet."
The fruit and veggie donations are from the Weinberg Northeast Regional Food Bank in Pittston, as well as local grocery stores like Schiff's and Wegmans.
"We have local businesses contributing and then we have a larger food bank that's committed to wiping out hunger in this community by 2025," said Fahey.
Food pantry visitors say they look forward to cooking dinner with fresh fruits and veggies.