When a mix-up caused some of those depending on a free food pantry to miss the pick-up date, organizer Diane C. Yoder made deliveries.
Yoder of Rockland Township offered the food giveaway event Saturday, May 16, in Hunsicker's Grove, Longswamp Township, under the banner of The Jarett Yoder Foundation.
She and her husband, Gary, started the nonprofit in memory of their son Jarett, a member of the Pennsylvania National Guard who was killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on April 9, 2013.
The May 16 food pantry was the organization's fifth since the coronavirus began wreaking havoc in Berks County in mid-March.
Based on previous response, the Yoders and their volunteers expected to serve close to 1,000 between noon and 4 p.m. and were surprised when only 200 cars showed up at the township park.
"Some people messed up and thought it was next week," she said.
Knowing something was wrong, Diane Yoder started making calls and then set out to deliver the food. By the time she, Gary and the others got home in the wee hours of Sunday morning, May 17, they had provided groceries to 875 families.
"Diane is the kindest-hearted person I know," said foundation volunteer Leann Sacks of Longswamp Township. "She went and delivered all this food. People were crying."
Yoder, a registered nurse case manager in the Lehigh Valley Health network, said another free food pantry will take place next month and will benefit area military personnel, police, firefighters and other first responders.
Nurses also are welcome, she said.
In addition to offering periodic grocery giveaways, the Jarett Yoder Foundation provides housing and other services to area veterans in need and funds scholarships for Oley Valley High School students and active or veteran military and their family members.
For more information visit the foundation's Facebook page.