Fund drive underway after Bucks County food pantry suffers heavy damage from Isaias

Jesus Focus Food Pantry tents knocked down from the storm
Photo credit Courtesy of Jesus Focus Food Pantry
BUCKS COUNTY, Pa. (KYW Newsradio)  A Bucks County food pantry that was working hard to help families hit by the pandemic over the last five months has suffered severe damages during Tuesday’s tropical storm. A fund drive is underway to allow the pantry to continue its mission.

Jesus Focus Food Pantry in Southampton has been serving an average of  250 families a week during the pandemic. But on Tuesday, its drive-thru food pantry, set up specifically to adhere to pandemic guidelines, was destroyed. 

Karen Hamilton-Derry CEO of Bethanna, a social services agency devoted to foster and adoption services, as well as the food pantry said it was a devastating event.
“We had three beautiful tents industrial tents set up that were just mangled, destroyed, knocked to the ground because of the wind and the rain, and about 15 trees destroyed, tops taken off, roots uprooted,” she said. 
Six of those trees were in the middle of the food distribution area and devastated that entire section. Fortunately, no one was injured.

She said the pandemic, and now the storm, have rocked the agency back on its heels, but the pantry is fully committed to its community and will remain open. 

For now, the pantry has moved inside, which means less staff to handle the people arriving to pick up food. They are also starting a fund drive to pay for the damages, but, Hamilton-Derry added, it’s a very heavy lift financially.

“We’re still assessing the damage. I am concerned there are so many trees to clean up and dispose of, and that number may go higher. But at this point, we are looking to raise $5,000.”

The money will be used to replace the damaged tents and remove the fallen trees.