According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the good news is that unemployment dipped two tenths of a point, from 8.3% to 8.1% last month. The bad news is that the reduction was only because 368,000 workers left the job market. Some just became too frustrated to keep looking for work and are no longer counted as unemployed. For every job added, four people gave up looking for work.
We’ve gone 43 straight months with an 8 percent-plus official jobless rate, and an even higher unofficial one. Times are tough for many people, including some in our own community.
A local organization who has taken on the responsibility of helping those in need now needs our help. The Open Line reports that their “food cupboard is looking very bare.” A visit to the organization’s office at 452 Penn Street in Pennsburg provides a shocking look at the need to replenish the empty shelves.
The group is in desperate need of: soups, peanut butter, stew, juice, canned tuna/chicken, canned meat, canned pasta, pasta/rice sides, cereal, spam, mac & cheese and baked beans.
Top personal care needs: shampoo, laundry detergent body soap, paper towels, toilet paper and toothpaste.
They also ask for plastic bags that you would like to recycle. They can be dropped off with your food donation. The organization uses the plastic bags to distribute outgoing food.
In their request for help, The Open Line mentions that “Although they welcome and are very thankful for all size donations, we do have some individuals and smaller families who are appreciative of smaller containers for the items listed above.”
According to The Open Line’s website, “The Community Food Cupboard is designed to provide food to local families who do not currently have the financial means to meet their nutritional needs. There are two types of assistance through the food cupboard: emergency food provided through community food donations and the government food program. Eligibility varies by program.
“In addition to food, our cupboard is able to provide local families in need with other basic necessities such as infant formula, diapers, toiletries, cleaning supplies, and paper products (when available). Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Vouchers are also available at The Open Line to seniors who meet the income guidelines (while supplies last).
“Approximately 138 food orders are distributed each month to local families in need. Income-eligible families are able to access the food cupboard once a month; exceptions can be made based on a family’s need and current situation.”
Food cupboard items can be dropped off at The Open Line. The office is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with extended hours on Tuesday evenings until 7 p.m.
If you can’t make it to their office, you can drop your items off at the office of the Town and Country newspaper, 2508 Kutztown Road, Pennsburg (Upper Hanover Township). We will deliver it to The Open Line for you.
In addition, for every item dropped off at the Town and Country before Sept. 20, 2012, we will donate $1 to The Open Line to help them with their current effort. One case of 24 cans of soup will mean a $24 donation to the organization.
Please help The Open Line help your friends and neighbors.