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New Love Center Provides Thousands of Meals For Jersey Shore Area And Eastern Clinton County

Food for low income and needy families is a very real social problem, and the New Love Center of Jersey Shore is in the forefront in the effort to deal with this problem.

According to the Rev. Kerry Aucker, pastor of the St. John’s Lutheran Church at 229 South Broad Street, Jersey Shore, who helps coordinate the efforts of the New Love Center, the New Love Center started on October 1, 2014 after the American Rescue Workers closed its facility on Allegheny Street. A group of people came together seeing the need to continue this ministry in our community, and it has now evolved into an operation that serves 900 meals a month at the Café located at Trinity United Methodist Church and the Food Pantry, which serves 450 families per month. In 2017, the Food Pantry distributed 192,000 meals.

First United Methodist Church helps with the Christmas food box distribution and volunteers from Phelps Chapel assemble and distribute 175 backpacks to area school students each week. Except for a part-time cook, volunteers operate the New Love Center.

In 2017, the New Love Center became a non-profit 501c3 organization registered through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Internal Revenue Service. It is operated by a separate Board of Directors from the area. While it is currently located in different churches to save money, it is not affiliated with any church. They receive donations and volunteers from many organizations, churches, and individuals. The New Love Center has a budget of $82,000.

“We operate 20 refrigerators and freezers to keep milk, eggs, produce, and meats frozen or refrigerated,” Aucker told Webb Weekly. “We receive two grants from the United States Department of Agriculture for Clinton and Lycoming counties. We purchase food through the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and the purchases are deducted from those grants. In addition, we post each month on Facebook and our website our needs and we receive many donations of food that is then given out. Thirty percent of the food we give away comes from donations. Each family in our coverage area of Linden, Jersey Shore, Nippenose Valley, Waterville, Cammal, Slate Run, Avis, Woolrich, and McElhattan, receives a box of food good for a family of four for three days. Those living outside our coverage area are directed to food pantries where they live. In addition each family receives a protein, milk, eggs, baked goods and produce. For emergency needs one can call our emergency number at 570-772-3275 for assistance. The New Love Center only provides food assistance.”

Aucker provided some testimonials from some anonymous beneficiaries of the Love Center.

“I have a more balanced diet now. I see a great difference in my grocery bill (it’s much lower). I’m able to purchase more specialties for myself that I couldn’t afford before.”

“The food pantry has helped me so much at the end of the month because I run out of food stamps. The volunteers are very nice and helpful. God bless all of you.”

“I am an older woman on a fixed income. I pay lot of rent for my mobile home. I enjoy having television and a phone. I drive an older car that requires maintenance on occasion, insurance, and registration. I have homeowner’s insurance to pay. I am currently trying to save for a new set of dentures, which I have needed for many years. The New Love Center Food Pantry has been a great help for me as far as providing many helpful and healthy foods. I don’t have much cash at the end of the month. In fact, some months I’m totally broke, but thanks to the Food Pantry, I’m never hungry. Thank you so much for your help and also thanks to the workers who dedicate their time and energy to help us. They are all so kind by getting help with food, it allows me to buy other items that we need, and we are grateful.”

They are open the Second and Fourth Friday of each month from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m.

Please bring identification with you each time. You are allowed one box of food per month which should feed a family of four for three days. Eggs and produce are given out when available.

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