Delco Food Project stepping up to help fight food insecurity

COVID-19 has left its mark on communities around the area, resulting in food insecurity for some.

But a Delaware County church congregation has stepped up to contribute to that need.

Pastor Dexter Brecht of Imago Dei Metropolitan Community Church in Aston, Pennsylvania says that when COVID-19 hit, his mostly older congregation wanted to help those at risk of going hungry.

"Putting our faith into action has been one of the guiding principles of the denomination that we're part of," says Pastor Dexter Brecht.

They created the Delco Food Project, which operates as a drive-through pantry serving people across Delaware County.

"We saw the need," says Bill Farnham, project leader of The Delco Food Project, "and we thought this would be one way that we could help."

The drive-thru pantry is hosted at St. Timothy's Lutheran Church and the congregation there is also supporting the effort through donations.

Pastor Brecht says, "The motto for The Delco Food Project is neighbors feeding neighbors."

"We're doing collections every Thursday, but we'll do distribution on an as-needed basis," says Farnham.

To receive food as part of the project you don't have to be a member of either church. People can call or email ahead to be assigned a pickup time to utilize the drive-thru pantry.

The drive-thru makes receiving food simpler.

"They pull up, we load the food in their car," explains Farnham. "We're doing our best to keep this a no-contact project."

"Bill has designed the distribution package to include basically three day's worth of food," says Pastor Brecht, "and it may include some personal care items."

Fresh produce is included in the food packages when possible, thanks to an on-site garden at St. Timothy's and the generosity of longtime congregant Valerie Biderberg.

"What she volunteered was use of her property for us to go in and plant several beds of food," says Pastor Brecht.

Biderberg has multiple gardens on her property and a variety of fruit trees, which includes Asian pears.

"Everybody likes the fruit trees," says Biderberg. "I don't use any pesticides. It's all-natural."

Pastor Brecht says that Biderberg has been a vital piece of this project.

"You help your neighbors," says Biderberg. "We're going to give away all the fruit and it's not going to go to waste."

"It's just been an incredible response," says Pastor Brecht, "and people have blessed us with their generosity."
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