Wayne County Launches Supplemental Food Assistance Program
More help for hungry families is on the way.
HONESDALE (April 13, 2020) – The shuttering of hundreds of businesses to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has left many households without a source of income. For the large group of agencies and community organizations that make up Wayne Tomorrow! it quickly became clear something needed to be done to help our community now.
While the Wayne Tomorrow! Initiative, spearheaded by the Wayne County Commissioners, focuses on building a vibrant future, this broad-based collaboration has transformed into “Wayne Today” to tackle the more urgent community needs brought about by the COVID-19 crisis.
The county, in partnership with the Wayne County Community Foundation, created the Wayne County Emergency Food Relief Program (EFRP), spearheaded by Commissioner Joseph Adams, to provide more food assistance in our area to anyone impacted by COVID-19.
With the help of the Wayne Highlands, Wallenpaupack and Western Wayne School Districts, who are providing food distribution facilities, EFRP will provide groceries to anyone in need. The Wayne County EFRP food distribution drives will occur on Fridays and will be an additional food distribution effort to the already monthly occurring Wayne County Food Pantry distributions and the School Grab & Go Lunch programs.
The Wayne County Community Foundation has agreed to act as a fiscal pass-through agent for community donations, and has already received significant support.
The plan is an ambitious one, says Commissioner Adams. “We could potentially be feeding thousands of people a week, who really need the help and don’t know where to turn.” The effort is prioritizing local grocery stores whenever possible, to also help support our business community.
“We are integrating our farming community into the effort, and we can also work with several wholesale suppliers to fill the need,” said Adams. County employees and many volunteers are planning safe and contact-less food distributions on Fridays, beginning Friday April 17th at several school buildings in our area.
To receive food, you must call to register and make your reservation for food pick-up. The registration process is easy, and it allows coordinators to schedule your pick-up at the location nearest your home, and to ensure enough food is made available.
To register, please call The Wayne County Aging Office at Aging Office at 570-253-4262, or visit www.WayneCountypa.gov and click on the Wayne County Emergency Food Relief Application button. Once you have registered, a representative will call to tell you where and when you may pick up groceries. Please be prepared with the last four digits of the Social Security numbers and dates of birth for each member of the household.
If you are interested in donating money to help the food drive, visit www.WayneFoundation.org or mail a check payable to the Wayne County Community Foundation. In the memo, please write Food Relief Program, and mail to 214 Ninth Street, Honesdale, PA 18431. Donations made through the foundation and are tax deductible.
If you are interested in volunteering, please call Kim at 570-253-5970 x1318.
The organizers have also reached out to Second Harvest, a regional pantry program based in the Lehigh Valley, which has pledged whatever Wayne County can pack up and haul back to the area.
Bringing this project to fruition involves a large number of people and organizations, along with expertise and dedication, all of which is a testament to Wayne County’s compassion, but also its resiliency.