Allen Carroll arrived on Tuesday morning at the JFS Community Food Pantry with his arms full of grocery bags. He carefully unloaded the carrots, tomatoes, onions and other produce he had brought to donate to the pantry.
Carroll has come with produce for the pantry every week for the past two years. “I used to send in checks. I was interested in donating produce to food banks because I saw that most of them didn’t get fresh produce. When they told me I could bring produce to JFS, I started donating here.”
The Community Food Pantry serves over 120 people in the Allentown area regardless of background. The pantry operates in partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank. This year, JFS also received a generous grant from MAZON that, along with donations from people like Carroll, keeps the Community Food Pantry stocked.
Carroll knows the produce is appreciated by JFS clients. “I can see by the smiles on the faces of those visiting the food pantry that they want and are grateful for fresh produce,” he said. “Produce can be very expensive and out of reach for many people and families who are struggling to pay their bills.” Carroll also pointed out that some in the community don’t have access to supermarkets and instead shop primarily at small markets that are unlikely to even carry produce.
Carroll encourages others to donate to the Community Food Pantry, whether it be fresh produce, other food, or even other products like soap or deodorant. “It’s really not hard to just throw a couple of extra things into the cart, whether it’s produce or other things. I just always have it in the back of my mind when I shop,” he said.