Ecumenical Food Pantry sees need grow

Milford. Thirty-five percent more people needed help last year because they were hungry than the year before. And the trend already continues on 2023.

| 15 Feb 2023 | 02:16

The number of families served by the Ecumenical Food Pantry is increasing sharply.

“Fighting hunger is our purpose,” pantry officials wrote in their most recent newsletter. “And in 2022 we sure were successful. We are very pleased that we could help, but the increase in need is humbling.”


Consider these numbers, provided by pantry volunteers Jim Snodgrass, his wife Pat Moulton and Pantry Director Nancy Potter.

In 2021, the pantry provided or served 1,946 family visits.

In 2022, there were 2,617 family visits, an increase of nearly 35 percent.

And, the increases continue. In January 2022, the pantry we served 177 family visits; in January 2023, there were 219 visits.

The 2,617 family visits does not mean 2,617 different families were served. It does mean that the pantry served family groups 2,617 times during the year which would include repeat visits by many of the same families.

There are 193 families on the Ecumenical Food Pantry rolls. Many come three times a month, some once or twice a month, some only a few times a year because their hardship may be over.

”Approximately 20 percent of our guests are seniors living on limited fixed incomes,” Snodgrass wrote in an email exchange with The Courier. “The majority of our guests are workers with part-time, temporary, or full -time jobs who are under employed and facing the danger of food insecurity. Other clients are at risk due to domestic issues, temporary financial setbacks, or temporary or permanent disability.”

Food prices

Food costs have also jumped. In addition to shelf stable foods like canned fruit, vegetables, soup and tuna fish, pasta and rice and bread, much of which is donated by supporters, the Ecumenical Food Pantry purchases and provides milk, eggs, meat or chicken and fresh fruit and vegetables.

“The cost of these latter items have really increased as most families know,” Snodgrass added. “Between the increasing numbers of families served, and increasing food prices, we more than doubled our food expenses last year.”

Pantry in need of donations: Can you help?

Checks can be made payable to The Food Pantry of Pike County and mailed to the pantry at 3Ecumenical21 5th St., Milford, PA, 18337. Donations can also be made using the donation button on the pantry’s Facebook page at

Focus on Volunteer Jodi Hancock
“Giving without compensation” is how Jodi Hancock defines volunteerism.
She is a public health administrator for Temple University. She, her husband and their two teenage sons moved to Milford, Pa., just over 13 years ago and learned about the Ecumenical Food Pantry from its presence throughout the community.
While she first became involved as part of her MA degree program, her ongoing service to the food pantry stems from her understanding that “everyone has different skill-sets that can be put to use.”
Along with Liz Steen, Jodi helps coordinate the involvement of the Milford United Methodist Church with the pantry in, as she puts it, “whatever way each person is able.”
Her entire family continues to be actively engaged and can regularly be seen working alongside the pantry’s many other volunteers.
“Sometimes, especially for someone coming to use the services of the pantry for the first time,” Jodi said, “having never thought they’d be in this type of need, being there for them and making them feel welcome is the best gift you can give.”