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New Love Center delivers 6,000 meals with ‘cafe’

PHOTO PROVIDED Volunteers with the New Love Center distribute food.

JERSEY SHORE — The New Love Center is continuing to work hard to combat hunger in Clinton and Lycoming counties with their six programs for specific needs in the communities they serve.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, the need is greater than ever before with businesses closed, people out of work and children doing school from home.

“Now more than ever, the mission of the New Love Center is needed,” Dave Winkleman, vice president, said in a press release. “Having established ourselves as a critical link in the chain of community unity before the COVID-19 episodes, we are prepared to face the future. In this great time of need, with the help, the love and the support of our community volunteers, the Center is well positioned to continue to provide these life enriching and lifesaving services well into and through this difficult time.”

“In the worst of time that we are faced with, this has been a wonderful experience for us,” Alice Fox Cline, board president, said. “We have risen to the occasion. It’s been a very stressful time for so many people with not having work. We consider this, to be able to serve, a blessing.”

The programs at the center include the Food Pantry, the Cafe, Military Shares, Elder Care, the PB&J program and the Backpack program according to a press release.

The Food Pantry is located at the St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church located on Broad Street and is open on the second and fourth Friday of the month alongside the Elder Share program that does food boxes for those over 60 years of age.

The Cafe program serves hot and nutritious meals. This service allows for take out and even delivery Monday through Friday for Lunch at the Trinity United Methodist Church on Allegheny Street from 11 a.m. to 12: 30 p.m.

Fox Cline added that since starting the delivery service, they have been delivering close to 110 meals per day and provided over 6,000 meals between take out and delivery with the Cafe program in April.

The Backpack program happens every Friday during school and is coordinated by the many volunteers at Phelps Chapel and the Tri-County Church Northeast Campus for elementary and middle school students in both the Jersey Shore School District and the Bucktail Area Schools in Renovo.

According to the release, 400 food backpacks are delivered weekly.

The pop up food pantry is another program that was recently added to the mix and is available in Lock Haven at the STEP Office parking lot every other Thursday at 2 p.m. and in Renovo at the Renovo Fire Hall every other Friday at 2 p.m.

Fox Cline also said that at the pop up food pantry, people can come and get their boxed up food packages provided by the food bank as well as fresh fruits, vegetables, juices and other extras.

For the past five years, the Center and it’s staff has donated around 5,263 pounds of food every month and have served over 4,700 households in the counties exceeding over 3,000 volunteer hours and monetary and food donations to make their programs happen.

“We have great support from volunteers,” Fox Cline said. “The volunteer base is just phenomenal.”

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