Volunteers from Reformation Lutheran Church gathered Sunday morning to fill boxes with food and supplies for needy families in the Exeter School District.

The Thanksgiving tradition is a longstanding one for the church at 3670 Perkiomen Ave. in Exeter Township.

“We’ve been doing this for about 25 years,” said Terry Trumbauer, who coordinated the effort.

Trumbauer of Exeter, a church member, said the coronavirus pandemic forced the committee to make some changes in the way items were donated, boxed and delivered.

“We are trying to cut down on the contact as much as possible,” he said.

In years past, nonperishable items were collected by the congregation in advance and volunteers shopped for perishables the morning of the packing. Many of the boxes were hand-delivered to families.

This year, some nonperishables were collected and boxed by area Scout troops, including Boy Scout Troop 315, which is sponsored by the church. A small group of volunteers used funds donated by church members and others to shop for perishables and supplementary items before the packing began.

To cut down on the risk of coronavirus contamination, volunteers wore masks and gloves as they boxed the groceries.

The 17 stuffed boxes will be delivered to Owatin Creek Elementary School for family pickup.

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