Close to 1000 Families Expected at Produce Market

WILKES-BARRE, Pa.  -- Each month, the Keystone Mission in Luzerne County hands out fresh produce to families that might otherwise go without. Volunteers tell us the need continues to rise

On a hot summer day in Wilkes-Barre, volunteers unloaded produce from trucks into the basement of the Keystone Mission on Empire Court, part of a monthly food distribution to help those in need in the city.

"Today's our monthly produce market. It happens the third Wednesday of every month. We partner with the CEO, the Commission of Economic Opportunity out of Pittston. They help us provide food for the community," explained Austin Shission, Keystone Mission.

The monthly produce market is different than the weekly food distribution because it's focused on fresh produce for families in need.

Volunteers tell us it was difficult working in the sun, but the cause made it worth it.

"I like to volunteer here because it helps out the community and to help people that are less fortunate to have the things that they don't have," said volunteer Justin Warman.

Organizers tell Newswatch 16 this produce distribution started close to a year ago and has grown a lot in a short amount of time.

"This produce market started last year in August with 40 families. This month, we're at 1,100 families in our 12th month. We're looking at about 3,600 individuals being served and 1,500 of them are children," Shission said.

Volunteers portioned the produce in the morning in anticipation of a line out the door in the afternoon. Volunteers say this crowd speaks to the impact of the distribution.

"The more the merrier," Warman said. "The more we can help out to stop poverty to help children families, any age both men and women alike, I think it's amazing for this community."

Distribution started a little earlier than usual to try and beat the rain. If you would like to learn about how you can receive monthly produce from the Keystone Mission, click here.

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