To the editor:
The recession has hit everyone hard, especially those already struggling. Reports of job losses and layoffs are everyday news. Nowhere is the present state of the economy more evident than at the local food pantries. As a matter of fact, stores of food and other supplies at the Juniata County Food Pantry were seriously depleted as we struggled to feed almost twice as many families in 2008 as we did in 2007. However, we at the Juniata County Food Pantry are filled with gratitude for the generosity of this county's citizens! Thanks to the many food drives orchestrated by organizations, churches, businesses and schools this fall and winter, plus donations from individuals and community groups, our shelves were filled to the brim. Not only were we able to continue to provide a week's worth of groceries to hungry families, but we also were able to deliver all the ingredients for a holiday meal to those in need.
We also owe a debt of gratitude to the many volunteers who put in almost 700 hours at the pantry counting donations, stocking shelves, helping clients with groceries, doing office work, cleaning, and giving freely of smiles and hugs.
With the economic situation for 2009 looking just as grim, it is so good to enter the new year with our shelves overflowing. Please continue to remember the Juniata County Food Pantry in your homes, churches and businesses throughout the year as the number of families needing help continues to increase. Once again, thank you to our faithful supporters who have given new hope for the future to the many hurting families who live among us.
We extend our sincere gratitude to the many individuals and anonymous donors as well as those listed below who gave unselfishly of time, money and supplies to the Juniata County Food Pantry in 2008:
Churches: Aldersgate Methodist, Arbogast's and Leininger's Lutheran Parish, Arch Rock Methodist, Brown's Methodist, Bunkertown Brethren, Cedar Grove Brethren in Christ, Central Pennsylvania Conference of United Methodist, Centre Lutheran, Cornerstone Community Church, Delaware Mennonite, Dressler's Ridge Methodist, East Salem Methodist, East Waterford Presbyterian, Ebenezer Methodist, Faith Community, Faith Lutheran, Faith Methodist, First Baptist Mifflintown, Free Spring Brethren, Good News Lutheran Brethren, Heaven Bound, Juniata County Ministerium, Lauver's Mennonite, Living Water Christian Fellowship, Locust Run Methodist, Lost Creek Mennonite, Lost Creek Presbyterian, Lower Tuscarora Presbyterian, Maple Grove Sunday School, Matamoras Methodist, McAlisterville Ministerium, McAlisterville Methodist, McCoysville Presbyterian, Messiah Lutheran, Mexico Full Gospel, Mexico Presbyterian, Mexico Methodist, Millerstown Methodist, Neimond's Independent, New Life Assembly of God, Otterbein Methodist, Pine Grove Methodist, Pioneer End Times, Port Royal Lutheran, Port Royal Presbyterian, Port Royal Methodist, Richfield United Church of Christ, Richfield Methodist, Salem Methodist, South Juniata Baptist Church, St. John's Methodist, St. Jude's Catholic, St. Paul's Lutheran, St. Stephen's Lutheran, Thompsontown Baptist, Thompsontown Methodist, Trinity Lutheran, Trinity Methodist, Turkey Valley Methodist, Westminster Presbyterian
Businesses: Beward Pharmacy, Bob's Electric, Cathy's County Cupboard, Century 21 G&B Associates, Costco -Harrisburg, Curves, Empire Kosher, First National Bank, First National Bank of Mifflintown, Jenell's Retail, Jill's Store, Juniata County post offices, Juniata Valley Bank, Juniata Post Home Inc., King Financial, La Columbiana, Leidy's Chevrolet, Long's Excavation, Nale's Accounting Service, Phillip's Ultra Sound-Reedsville, Point Service Station, Post and Schnell-Harrisburg, Probuilt Homes, Stacy Snyder's Studio, Wal-Mart, WeisMifflintown, Yoder's Country Store
Schools: East Juniata High School, Fayette Elementary, Fermanagh Elementary, Juniata High School, Juniata Mennonite School, Lack-Tuscarora Elementary, Monroe Elementary, Susquehanna Elementary, Thompsontown Elementary, Tuscarora Junior High School, Tuscarora Valley Elementary, Walker Elementary
Other organizations: 4-H Dairy Club, Abundant Blessings, Abuse Network, American Legion 298, Angel Food Ministry, Boy Scouts-Juniata County, Brownies-Juniata County, Cub Scouts-Juniata County, The Boyz, Builder's Club, Business and Professional Women, Christian Women United, Crafty Croppers, Crop Walk, Duplicate Bridge Players, East Juniata Key Club, Fayette Fire Co., Healing House-Newport, Jack Gaughen-Hower & Assoc., Juniata County Courthouse, Juniata County Farm Bureau, Juniata County Postmasters, Juniata County Prison, Juniata County Probation, Juniata County Republican Committee, Juniata County Retired School Employees, Juniata River Center-Base Service Unit, Liberty Weekend Committee, Locust Grove Retirement Center, Mennonite Foundation Inc., Mifflin-Juniata Realtors, Mifflintown Kiwanis, Order of the Eastern Star, Mifflin Chapter No. 260, Penn State Extension Offices-Juniata and Mifflin counties, Perry-Juniata Gym, Ponytail Softball-Port Royal, Port Royal Book Club, Rainbow Connection Day Care, Skills of Central PA, Sons of the American Legion No. 298, Tall Cedars of Lebanon, TIU-11, Trinity Tots Pre-School, Twin Boro Bridge Fest, Veterans of Foreign Wars No. 5863, Walker Grange No. 786, Weight Watchers, WIC.
Juniata County Food Pantry Board of Directors: Rev. Chris Mathiason, president, Juniata County Food Pantry Inc.;
Tammy Heikes, vice president; Linda Groninger, secretary; Bill Houdeshel, treasurer;
Rev. Bill Esborn,
Rev. Ted Kostich,
Rev. Louise Reynolds,
Rev. Vernon Shenberger,