UWCHLAN — While the region has gone into lockdown and toilet paper is in short supply, the needs of the poor and elderly have not gone away.

To help answer that need the Scouts from Troop 83 in Lionville organized a drive-thru food donation for the Chester County Food Bank on Monday to help those who were not able to stock up and those without a job.

“We thought it would be a great idea, for poor families in need it would really be essential to help the food banks bulk up their supply,” said Sarah Newman, whose son Andrew is a Scout There are so many people losing their jobs or needing to stay to home and may not know where to go for food.”

The troop of 30 scouts meets weekly at St. Paul's United Church of Christ put the word out through friends and social media for the drive which minimized personal contact with the those donating. The Scouts and their families used a curbside service to accept the food. Motorists pulled up, opened their trunks, and the Scouts took the items from your car so that you don’t need to get out or hand off the items. 

“We’ve had some good support and turnout,” said Jay Newman, who is also the Scout master who said they were keeping the number of people at the collection site to a minimum. Practicing social distancing only three Scouts at a time, staggered over the two hours.

By the end of the evening, the Scouts had collected more than 600 pounds of food. 

“We’re going to see how the emergency continues to see if can hold more drives,” Newman said.

For those who would like to donate the Chester County Food Bank is accepting food donations with a modified warehouse entry process. Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with at their warehouse 650 Pennsylvania Drive in Exton. They also accept monetary donations which make the biggest impact.

Among the items they encourage are granola bars, fruit cups, pasta and sauce soup and hearty meals, peanut butter and jelly, can tuna fish, chicken, cereal, quick cook rice , crackers, canned vegetables, they also collected the ever popular toilet paper, tissues and antibacterial products

“The Covid-19 crisis is unlike anything we have dealt with in the past,” said Larry Welsch, executive director at the Chester County Food Bank in an email Tuesday. “I’ve been doing this work for 15 years and have never seen anything like this! Our Food Bank has been working with the Chester Dept. of Human Services, the CC. Health Depart., The Red Cross and other Food Bank's across the state to respond to the crisis. We have been ramping up the production of prepackaged food boxes and frozen prepared meals to meet the need. So far. Many of the Food Pantries that we supply food to for distribution are still open, and many have gone to a drive thru model of distribution. We have seen a great response in fundraising and are hoping that donated food will continue to come in. The need will be increasing as we see people who have lost employment as a result of the crisis coming to food pantries for help.”

Welsch said resident are encouraged to donate either online financially or by dropping off food at a local pantry or our warehouse in Exton.

“Our main concern now is over the food supply chain, as it is being stretched to the limit,” Welsch said.

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