Harvest of Hope

Faith Church's food bank has a name!
Harvest of Hope

Plans for some form of a hunger program started at Faith approximately 2-2 ½ years ago. We knew we wanted to be a part of Hunger solution. Our original team started as a dream for our associate Pastor at the time, Rusty Wolfinger. Pastor Rusty, Jane and I sat down at a small round table and began the vision.

The food bank at Faith United Methodist is now named, The Harvest of Hope. The name that was collaborated and chosen by the church members. It has been quite a journey for Co-Chairs Jane and Sharon as they have ventured into many uncharted waters. We ran into many stumbling blocks and each time it was quickly removed and our needs were met. We wanted this to be a Community Project and it has become just that. It is so exciting to see people pull together and be excited about a common goal.

We were graciously given a Grant from the Plankenhorn Foundation, and Easter Collections from our members that allowed us to begin construction. We tore down walls, ripped carpet up, put new flooring down, painted walls, received new blinds, plumbing and heating changes. We did a Christmas in July Tree and received all the equipment, and shelving needs from our church members. The requests went flying off the tree! Through this wonderful journey we have learned many new things, you could say,”You name it we learned it”. What drove us through this 2 year process was what was to become a Fresh Express for the Community and the Back Pack Program that serves students in the Montoursville Area.

We presently serve 80 students in the Montoursville area with weekend bags of food that is disbursed every weekend to them. We will be increasing that number to 100 in February. We pack once a month so we are packing 320 bags in an evening with the future in February packing 400. This is all supported by the community’s food donation to this program. We pack the third Thursday of every month August-May 6:30-8.

The Fresh Express is a program where the food is delivered from the Central PA Food Bank and disbursed to families from our site. We hold this event every second Thursday from 4-6pm

We now operate with 9 contributing area churches donating food each month. Many food drives, volunteer ones we might add, including those from the Elementary School Students, the Rotary Club, The American Legion and various high school clubs to name a few. We have a team of 8 Chairpersons, and a finance committee to help prepare for future needs and ongoing programs and approximately 125 volunteers each month all to make sure well needed food goes out our doors. Our church members are tireless with their weekly food donations and volunteers services. Community organizations such as American Legion, Jersey Shore State Bank, MAHS Honor’s Society, Key Club, Star Club and Baseball Team, Rotary Club, Boys Scouts, Girl Scouts, Community Church Members, Area Guidance Counselors (just to name a few) make up 50% of our volunteers.

Sharon Atherholt Co-Chair
Jane Zimmerer Co- Chair