The Berks-Mont News (http://www.berksmontnews.com)

Honey Brook Food Pantry continues to see a rise in need for assistance

Motto is ‘Neighbors helping Neighbors’

By Carol Quaintance , For Digital First Media

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Honey Brook Food Pantry continues to see an increase in the need for assistance in the community.

“2017 was a year when, once again, the need for supplemental food support continued to grow in the Honey Brook area,” said Kenneth R. Ross, Board Chairman of the Honey Brook Food Pantry. “Unfortunately, the compounded growth rates for both children and seniors are at their highest levels. A barometer of need is that nearly 40 percent of Twin Valley School children are eligible for subsidized lunch.”

In 2014 while serving at Lord’s Pantry in Downingtown, Ross, along with Donna Horvath, owner of the Honeybrook Golf Club, recognized a need in the Honey Brook area to feed the children, the unemployed, the sick, disabled and the poor and the Honey Brook Food Pantry was born. Their motto is “Neighbors helping Neighbors.” Today the Honey Brook Food Pantry operates as a free standing 501 (c)(3) (tax exempt) organization and welcomes donors and volunteers from the Honey Brook area and surrounding communities.

“In 2017 nearly 8 percent more children required help as larger families continued to enroll and to need assistance for longer periods of time. Despite the increased need, due to the generosity of so many, we were able to distribute larger quantities of healthier food. Although we are certainly working to decrease that need, financial planning to continue our program is critical,” said Ross.

“Our retail donations are lagging, and our summer food needs were significant. We have 75 new families and we are growing,” added Ross, “with the recent reductions in retail support, I encourage donations that will assist with the purchase of larger quantities of more nutritious food now more than ever before.”

Ross stresses that the heart of their mission is neighbors helping neighbors, the goodness of the Honey Brook farm and business community and their love of neighbors reflects a sharing community from Farm to Table. Their clients are comfortable coming to the food pantry where friendly volunteers express interest in each person and family.

Their 2018 goals include continuing to identify and serve those in need; establishing some level of transportation coordination for those unable to reach the pantry; augment Registered Nurse testing service to include medical information on key topics (smoking, heart health, etc.); begin providing some level of employment assistance information; add additional development activities throughout the year to the existing three major events; expand the client gardening program (Garden for Life).

“The Honey Brook Food Pantry is highly dependent on the proceeds from these three annual fundraising events and we urge you to support them. We can’t make it without you,” said Ross.

The Annual Spring Dinner is April 7. The Annual Golf Outing will be July 9 at the Honeybrook Golf Club. Music Fest will be held Aug. 18 from 4 to 10 p.m. featuring bands and food at Honeybrook Golf Club.

“Hunger is invisible,” said Dr. Hans Kersten, M.D., a Tenet Hunger Hero and professor of pediatrics at Drexel University College of Medicine, to a crowd of 150 people at their 2017 Spring Dinner. “Food insecurity impacts the poor developmentally, making them likely to wind up in the Emergency Room and hospitalized. Hunger impacts their anxiety and suicide attempts.”

At the 2017 Spring Dinner, a client, a mother of eight, shared her experience at Honey Brook Food Pantry, “This experience is amazing. The volunteers take an interest in me. I never feel judged or looked down on. There is always milk, eggs, cheese, bread, staples, condiments, and a large meat item like a turkey or roast even when it’s not Thanksgiving. Also, kid’s treats, desserts, cakes, muffins and outside are my favorite fresh fruits and vegetables.”

Honey Brook Food Pantry is always looking for volunteers. For more about how to sign up to be a volunteer, call 610-291-0067.

Clients in need who visit the food pantry are asked to show proof of residency when registering. Must live in the Chester County portion of Twin Valley School District. This also includes the Indian Run Community. Eligibility is based upon income guidelines.

Distribution Days are the 2nd Wednesday of the month 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the 4th Wednesday 4 to 6:30 p.m. at Goods Food Distribution Center, Door #8, 5064 Horseshoe Pike, Honey Brook. Questions, call the HBFP at 610-273-6102.

For more information, visit www.honeybrookfoodpantry.org.