****2nd Harvest Food Bank of Northwest PA is the keystone agency for addressing the hunger crisis in Erie and our surrounding communities. They service over 11 counties and contribute to several types of emergency food programs including: food pantries, soup kitchens, and short-term shelters.

•Second Harvest shelters provide emergency food to an estimated 72,600 different people annually!

•30% are children under 18, 11% are seniors age 65 and older.

•About 20,700 different people receive food assistence in any given week.

•69% of region households have income below the federal poverty level.

These statistics are gathered from a recent survey conducted by 2nd Harvest Food Bank of Northwest PA.

Food Pantries who would like support, please fill out the attached application:

2016 Allocation Application

Part of the CROP Walk mission is to help local Erie missions and charities. This page is a collection of testimonials from a few of the local agencies that we support.

We are honored to have the opportunity to help these organizations in their mission work here in our own community.

TESTIMONIALS FROM OUR LOCAL BENEFICIARIES

Diane Giannelli, Director Bethany Outreach at the Neighborhood Partnership
The Bethany Outreach Center is a volunteer driven Christian organization, rooted in Erie’s East side, reaching out to ALL people who need a hand up and hope for life change. Our broad based ministries address the material, vocational and spiritual needs for people on the edge. Not only do we enjoy the fellowship of the Crop Walk each year, we are recipients. Our food pantry serves 150-200 families each week. We do not rely on federal or state grants and receive our funding through personal donations. The donation received each year from Crop Walk Erie gives us the opportunity to better serve our community and we are deeply grateful. We would encourage everyone to either walk with us on September 25, 2011 or give generously. This is one opportunity to not only donate to World Hunger, but to help our local ministries as well.

Ella Cochran Food Pantry/Harborcreek
The money we receive from the Crop Walk helps us buy more food from Second Harvest. We have over 95 families we service once a month. We have around 35 senior citizens and over 130 children as clients. All the money we collect goes to buy food and personal items. We have a very low overhead as we are under the umbrella of Our Lady of Mercy Church.

Sally Furey, Director St. Francis Xavier Church
Here at St. Francis Xavier Church our Outreach Ministry includes all of the community of McKean PA. We depend on the generosity of our parishioners and other churches in the community for food, clothing and monetary donations to make our ministry possible. We are very grateful for the Crop Walk so that we can extend our ministry to more families in need in the community during these times when the economy has had such an impact on households.

Karen Whitford, Inter-Church Ministries: Voucher System for Emergency Assistance (VSEA)
Special thanks to the Erie County CROP Walk for sharing funds with local programs, such as Inter-Church Ministries and its Voucher System for Emergency Assistance (VSEA)!

VSEA is a voucher program used by over 80 participating congregations from throughout the Erie County region in their ministries to individuals and families with emergency needs. VSEA provides a means by which food, lodging and other needs can be met through the use of vouchers that are redeemed at local merchants for $30 in groceries, $7 for a restaurant meal, $25 for gasoline or 1 night of lodging, among other things.

Hunger is the primary reason given by clients when coming to a church looking for emergency assistance (27% of respondents), followed by an emergency need for gasoline (25%). In 2010, the VSEA program distributed a total of over $11,424 in direct aid to clients, with grocery vouchers leading in direct aid at $4,292, followed by lodging vouchers at $2,955 and auto fuel vouchers at $2,638.

Food insecurity, homelessness, unemployment, health related problems, and/or poverty are factors in the lives of clients utilizing the voucher program. VSEA does not receive any federal or state funding, and is primarily funded through the contributions of congregations, individuals and special offerings. As such, the annual grant from the Erie County CROP Walk is so important in allowing ICM’s VSEA to continue to feed and assist clients with emergency needs.

Diane Edwards, Inter-Church Ministries, www.icmeriecounty.com
Inter-Church Ministries, as a network of churches – “working together…united in faith,” is committed to cooperation for the common good of the community and people of Erie County. We are “working together…united in faith” to provide emergency assistance to the most vulnerable in our community. Again, special thanks to the Erie County CROP Walk for its partnership and continued support! With God’s help, we can do amazing things together!

Sister Mary, Emmaus Ministries
CROP Walk has been a significant source of support for and blessing to Emmaus Ministries for over 20 years. Emmaus, an outreach social service agency serving the poor of Erie for 37 years, has three main ministries: a soup kitchen that serves approximately 175 guests each day, a food pantry that distributes approximately 600 food bags to pantry patrons weekly, and a kids café that cares for 75 inner-city children 5 days a week. The money received from CROP Walk (and it has been thousands of dollars of the last 20 years) is used to purchase food items that we serve and distribute each day to the poor and hungry women, men and children of Erie. Emmaus is grateful to the many volunteers and walkers who walk with us in our ministry to the hungry and poor. The Erie community can be proud of the individuals and congregations who give of themselves daily as Emmaus gives to others their daily bread.

Erie City Mission
Each and every day hundreds of men, women and children in need walk through the doors of the Erie City Mission. Now think about the hundreds of men, women and children in this community who take part in the CROP Hunger Walk. Talk about neighbor helping neighbor and child of God helping child of God. We are all on this journey together. Thanks to the Erie County CROP Hunger Walk – people right here at home and around the world find the nourishment and hope they need. Thank you to everyone involved in the Erie CROP Hunger Walk!