When Director Shani Holleran-Shenk had trouble ordering items for this month’s distribution at the Big Spring Area Food Bank, she was extremely thankful that Saylor’s Market stepped in to save the day.

Holleran-Shenk said when she went to order food from the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, there weren’t many items to choose from as their need has increased in the areas they serve due to the pandemic.

“There were no canned peas, corn, tuna or peanut butter,” she said. “I was able to order some canned fruits, shelf stable milk and free soup, which definitely helped. But, I still had 275 bags to fill. Some of them were partial bags, but many of them needed to be filled.”

Holleran-Shenk went to Saylor’s Market in Newville to see if they might help with a discount from a list of non-perishable items.

“I would have been happy with a 10 percent discount,” she said. “But Saylor’s is donating over 2,500 items to the food bank! I am just so thankful! I was not expecting them to do that. This is just so incredible how the community has helped us. We can’t thank Saylor’s enough for their generosity.”

The food bank will hold its monthly distribution in a drive-through format again, from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday, April 27, at Big Spring United Lutheran Church, 101 Crossroad School Road in Newville.

Holleran-Shenk said most of the distributed items will be non-perishables, but she is hoping to incorporate some frozen meats, as well.

She is preparing to serve many more residents Monday, and is expecting about 200 families to benefit from this month’s distribution.

“My phone has been ringing off the hook with people in need,” she said. “It was OK last month because people still had some food, but there are so many people out of work now, and it’s been a month now.”

Newville Borough employees will pick up the food items from Saylor’s this Friday, and deliver them to the food bank for volunteers to prepare bags.

She feels next month will be just as busy, especially since the distribution will fall a week early on May 18 because of the Memorial Day holiday.

“I appreciate the food bank coming to me anytime they need anything to fill their orders each month. Being part of the community, I feel it’s my moral obligation to do whatever I can to help the folks that need food at this time,” Curt Saylor of Saylor’s Market said.

Saylor’s has also recently contributed 10 cases of soup to the school district’s PAW Packs Program, which provides meals for Big Spring students over the weekend, and permitted the program to set up a box for cereal donations inside of the store.

Saylor said he has never seen anything like this in the store’s more than 40-year history.

“It’s amazing when you go on the wholesalers’ websites, and there’s item after item that are sold out. We are blessed to be able to order from two wholesalers, and have been able to keep our shelves stocked. We get six trucks a week. It’s amazing what you order and what you end up with. The warehouses are 50 to 70 percent out of stock. They have to fill the orders and get the products unloaded. They are definitely strapped for manpower, too, to get that accomplished,” he said.

Saylor said the market is concentrating on helping the food bank and PAW Packs Program “to keep them providing the services that they do.”

“We are just glad to be part of the community, and we want to keep supporting it any way that we can,” Saylor said. “It’s always been our business model to give back to the community, and we have done so since 1977.”

Donations for the Big Spring Area Food Bank may be sent to The Big Spring Area Food Bank, P.O. Box 82, Newville, Pa. 17241. For more information, call: (717) 422-4603, or visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BigSpringAreaFoodBank/

To contribute to the PAW Packs Program, checks should be made payable to PAW Packs Program and sent to: PAW Packs Program, c/o Newville First COG, 475 Shippensburg Road, Newville, Pa. 17241. For more information, visit: www.pawpacks.org.

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