Morgan Beacker of Loyalsock Township, left, and Terri Fry of Cogan House Township help hand out Thanksgiving supplies to members of the Cogan House community.
TROUT RUN — Cogan House Community Church, in partnership with the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, provided Thanksgiving turkeys and other ingredients for a Thanksgiving meal to over 300 families within the Cogan House community who want to enjoy turkey dinner, regardless of income.
Residents in the community received flyers in their mail informing them of the turkey drive earlier this month that doubled as a ticket for entry. On the evening of the giveaway, community members were able to drive through the church’s parking lot and have volunteers put the foods into their trunks, keeping the event primarily contactless, Way said.
“This is for anyone in the Cogan House community (zip code 17771) who wants to get a turkey and the fixings for turkey dinner,” Joyce Way, event organizer, said ahead of the drive. “It doesn’t matter how much money you make — little or tons, it doesn’t matter.”
Giving back to the community is nothing new for Way, who runs the Cogan House Community Church Food Bank. Housed in the church at 3782 Cogan House Road, Trout Run, the food bank is open on the second and fourth Thursday of each month and for emergency food services.
It serves as a source of food for whoever is in need in their community — a figure, Way says, that comes in at between 200 and 250 people.
The pantry is notable for its unique shopping center style set-up, which Way says is meant to treat those who enter with “dignity.” “They are allowed to come in and pick what they want,” she said. “When I opened this food pantry, I was very adamant that, first of all, people be able to choose what they want. One, because I know they will use it if they take it and they pick it. Two, because I think it gives them a sense of dignity.”
The church also aids in helping the local homeless population, collecting different supplies and necessities that the individuals would not be able to purchase or procure themselves. “We just want to be a blessing to the community,” Way said.
Township supervisors stepped in to help prepare the turkey drive, with Way saying they went “above and beyond to give food to our community.” “They (provided) huge flood lights, they (had) their employees directing traffic so that we (had) a safe traffic pattern and they gave our food pantry all the money we needed to pay for the turkeys, which was $6,200,” she said. “Because they offered us the money to buy them, we were able to put money into more food.”
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