LANCASTER, Pa. — The Water Street Rescue Mission Food Drive (RMFD) is aiming to reach its goal of collecting 100,000 pounds of food by Dec. 22 for families facing food insecurity.
The food drive started on Nov. 1, and organizers say they still have a long way to go.
“We do have a goal of 100,000 pounds; right now we’re at 20,000 pounds so we do have a long way to go but our community has been great so far and we have no doubt that in the next month we’ll be able to reach our goal,” said Matt Clement, director of marketing at Water Street Mission.
Last year the RMFD broke its previous record by collecting 94,000 pounds of food. This year, they’re increasing their goal by 6,000 pounds and partnering with several grocery stores, businesses and restaurants to help them reach their destination.
Over the holiday season, Water Street Mission provides 45,000 hot meals to men, women and children experiencing homelessness in Lancaster.
“We actually help with the food bank here; we give away 50,000 pounds of groceries every month to about 1,400 families, so the need is growing and we’re here to help, we’re trying,” said Clement.
Due to inflation and the rising cost of food, organizers say they’ve seen an increase in the need for emergency shelter and food outreach programs. The numbers typically increase more during the winter months than in the summer months.
“We’re seeing inflation combine with the rise in cost occurring currently, it’s really making things tough for people,” said Clement. “We’ve had people coming to us in tears sometimes saying they can’t make it.”
The RMFD runs from Nov. 1 to Dec. 22. Food donations can be dropped off at Water Street Mission’s campus, located at 210 S. Prince St., Lancaster, or at one of the 17 participating businesses.
A complete list of drop-off locations and a list of accepted items can be found here.