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The New Love Center Serving the Hungry in Two Counties

The economic ravages produced by COVID-19 have taken a real financial toll on many families in this area. This toll is causing many families to have problems meeting their nutritional needs. One organization that helps them meet this challenge is the New Love Center, which offers services to families in both Lycoming and Clinton Counties

The economic ravages produced by COVID-19 have taken a real financial toll on many families in this area. This toll is causing many families to have problems meeting their nutritional needs. One organization that helps them meet this challenge is the New Love Center, which offers services to families in both Lycoming and Clinton Counties from their headquarters in Jersey Shore.

It has six active and regularly scheduled programs, each tailored to address a particular segment of the population; the Center served 64 percent of the households in need for Clinton County and 36 percent of the households in need for Lycoming County for a total of 10,301 homes served during 2020.

The six programs, which include: The Food Pantry, The Café, Military Shares, Elder Share, The PB&J Program, and the Backpack Program, have been instrumental in helping those in need bridge the food gap that has become more prevalent and more disruptive to those in need.

“While the New Love Center has been here working hard every day for the past six years, it is in the past year during this pandemic where we have truly been called to help our friends and neighbors.”, Alice Fox Cline, Board President of the New Love Center, told Webb Weekly. “We have seen a need at all of our locations at the New Love Center; the people of our region need our help, now, more than ever.”

With the pandemic and the addition of pop-up pantries in Lock Haven and Renovo, numbers surged in March, April, and May. In addition, The New Love Center partnered with Haven Cupboard to support the food insecure students at Lock Haven University, and they expanded their backpack program into the high schools at Jersey Shore and Renovo.

Fox Cline cited the following statistics, notably:

For the year, 10,301 households + 822 = 11,123 households served
– 11,123 x 36 meals = 400,428 meals
– Their Café served 35,219 meals with 1,720 volunteers donating 4,499 hours
– Over $1.4 million of food distributed *(17 percent who receive food in Jersey Shore who have five-plus per household receive more than one box) **(box feeds a family of four for three days = 36 meals)

The New Love Center’s six areas of focus are:

The Pantry – Food Bank
When: the 2nd and 4th Fridays of the month, 9:00 a.m.-noon and 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
Where: St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 229 S. Broad Street, Jersey Shore
Who: The distribution area includes: Linden, Jersey Shore, Nippenose Valley, Waterville, Cammal, Slate Run, Avis, Woolrich, McElhattan, and Lock Haven.
Contact Phone: 570-772-3275.
* Until further notice, there is one distribution on the 2nd Friday of the month from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

The Café – Hot, Nutritious, and Varied Meal Selection. ServSafe Certified.
NOW utilizing TAKE OUT
When: Monday through Friday with Lunch at 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Where: Trinity United Methodist Church, 1407 Allegheny Street, Jersey Shore
Who: Open to the public at no cost.
Contact Phone: 570-244-8839.

Military Shares – Run by American Legion George W. Pepperman, Post #36 Home Associations
When: Third Thursday of the month, 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Approximately 110 boxes of food to local veterans.
Where: 320 Seminary Street, Jersey Shore.
Who: Open to Military Veterans with Military ID.

Elder Share – Senior food boxes for those over 60
When: the 2nd and 4th Fridays of the month, 9:00 a.m.-noon and 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.*
Where: St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 229 S. Broad Street, Jersey Shore
Who: The distribution area includes: Linden, Jersey Shore, Nippenose Valley, Waterville, Cammal, Slate Run, Avis, Woolrich, McElhattan, and Lock Haven. for senior citizens who meet financial guidelines.
Contact: 570-772-3275.

* Until further notice, there is one distribution on the 2nd Friday of the month from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Backpack Program – Over 400 backpacks delivered weekly to school students
When: Every Friday During School.
Where: Coordinated by the volunteers at Phelps Chapel and Tri-County Church Northeast Campus
Who: for Elementary and Middle School students of the Jersey Shore Area School District and Bucktail Area Schools in Renovo.
Contact: Ken Bowers for Jersey Shore: kcbowers1@yahoo.com and Kristy Eichenlaub for Renovo Keichenlaub219@yahoo.com.

PB&J Program – A jar of peanut butter, jelly, and a loaf of bread
When: Once per Month 3rd Monday of the month, 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
Where: St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 229 S. Broad Street, Jersey Shore.
Who: A cart will be outside of the double glass doors. Please pull up and take one bag per family.

Additionally, the following programs have recently been added:
Pop Up Food Pantry
When: First Thursday of the month at 2:00 p.m.
Where: The parking Lot of the STEP Office at 124 Walnut Street in Lock Haven.
Who: for residents of Lock Haven and surrounding communities.
Contact: 570-772-3275.

Pop Up Food Pantry – Food Pantry
When: Third Friday of the month at 2:00 p.m.
Where: The Renovo Fire Hall, 230 11th Street, Renovo.
Who: for residents of Renovo and surrounding communities.
Contact :570-772-3275

The New Love Center’s past and future success depends heavily upon monetary and food donations.

As a nonprofit, any donations can be made through their website thenewlovecenter.com. Funding is critical to fuel their far-reaching community efforts, and those who can give and want to make a difference are encouraged to make a donation via the website. A second component is to donate time. Anyone over the age of 13 can volunteer, and with a total of over 3,400 volunteer hours, it is clear that volunteerism is a critical component of the mission of the New Love Center.

According to Fox Cline, in 2020, 3,070 volunteers donated 10,795 hours x $20/hr. = $215,900.00 in time volunteered.

Fox Cline concluded by saying, “The New Love Center Food Pantry is operated by all volunteers. In 2020, everyone associated with our incredible ministry here went above and beyond. From our volunteers and donors to our Community Partners and Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, we cannot be prouder of what has been accomplished during this unprecedented year. While there is much uncertainty, the one thing you can be assured of is The New Love Center will be here feeding people.”

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