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Empty to Overflowing – Food Drive Nets Big Donations
Written by Kelly Chandler, Staff Writer

Anonymous donor gives substantial check

        As volunteers helped unload boxes upon boxes of donations, The Open Line Executive Director Lilibet Coe couldn’t help but smile.
        “Absolutely,” she said of if the donations will help fill the organization’s empty shelves. “We are very fortunate to have a number of what we call angels in the community.”
        The angels, as the organization calls them, came in the form of ordinary people who heard about the needs at The Open Line’s food cupboard both through an editorial in the Town and Country newspaper and through an organization email asking for help earlier this month.
        The editorial, written by Town and Country publisher and editor Larry Roeder, pledged a $1 donation for each food item donated to the newspaper offices for The Open Line before Sept. 20.
        And people responded.
        A food drive within the Vineyards community in Upper Hanover yielded several large boxes of donations delivered to the newspaper offices on two different occasions last week. Boxes contained items like oatmeal, scalloped potatoes, soups, pastas, laundry detergent, tissues, cereal and paper towels.
        Some even donated cases of items like tuna, canned chicken and macaroni and cheese.
        “We wanted to make sure people who need food and other things can get them,” said Wayne Clements of Upper Hanover. “We donate to The Open Line regularly, but the matching donation was the big thing.”
        People of all ages stopped with donations multiple times each day, some noting they were able to give by being more frugal themselves and not going out to eat, getting their daily cup of coffee or by using coupons.  
        Last Thursday Town and Country staffers delivered the donations to the Penn Street, Pennsburg facility, along with a check for $483.
        “Summer is typically a low time for us,” said Coe of the state of the shelves. “People are on vacation, they get busy and they just plain forget. It’s more difficult for us to generate a response…But Larry’s editorial really prompted people to act.”
        “We live in hard economic times and more and more people are without jobs,” explained Roeder. “Nobody should go hungry and we wanted to inspire others to help stock of the shelves at The Open Line and keep them stocked.
        And on Friday, The Open Line was graced by another act of kindness. An anonymous donor dropped off a generous check for $5,000 for the food pantry.
        The donation, prompted, the man said by the editorial, will be used to purchase a multitude of food and household necessities for families The Open Line serves. Last year the food pantry served 417 households, numbering 1,130 people; an increase of about 11 percent over last year.
        The Open Line provides emergency food assistance and supplements state food programs for those in need in the Upper Perkiomen Valley area. The need is constant.
        For more information on The Open Line, and the services they provide, call (215)679-4112 or visit





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