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Trinity AG Distributes Free Food At Melton Center September 11, 2018

As part of the Trinity Compassion Ministries (TCM) program at Trinity Assembly of God (AG), free food is now being distributed every Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Charles A. Melton Arts and Education Center, a nonprofit community center located at 501 E. Miner St., West Chester.

Visitors will receive a bag of nonperishable food, as well as frozen food donated by local convenience stores. No proof of income or residency is required.

"We are giving away canned foods and nonperishable food, and we have them prepacked in bags, so people can just pick them up," explained Caleb Gudgeon, director of TCM. "(However), if people just need canned vegetables, they can (take those); it's very informal.

"We are also giving out frozen breakfast sandwiches, chicken bites and soft pretzels," he added.

At this time of year, the volunteers from Trinity AG are stationed outside the Melton Center on Thursday evenings. "Whenever the weather is nice, we will be right outside in the picnic table area," Gudgeon noted. "In the case of inclement weather and when it gets colder, we will move indoors." He added that signs will be posted directing visitors to the food giveaway.

Gudgeon said that people are still learning about the distribution, which officially began on Aug. 23. "People will get to know us, and we'll grow from there," he said.

The food distribution is the latest effort by TCM, whose mission is to serve hungry people in the community through its Joseph's Closet food bank.

Gudgeon explained that volunteers pick up food every day from local restaurants, fast-food establishments, grocery stores and convenience stores. The items are then delivered to partner organizations for distribution in Coatesville, Philadelphia and Wilmington, Del., among other areas.

"We distribute 2,500 pounds of food a week. We literally feed thousands of people in the greater Philadelphia area every single week," said Gudgeon.

The community is invited to help the church with its food ministry. People may donate canned food at any time by placing donations in the waterproof food collection bin located outside the church. Items that the food bank is especially in need of include soup, canned fruit and vegetables, peanut butter and jelly.

The church is in need of volunteer drivers to pick up and deliver food. A driver's license and a clean driving record are required. Volunteers are also being sought to help with the distribution at the Melton Center on Thursday nights.

Trinity AG is located at 1022 Pottstown Pike, West Chester. For more information, including volunteer opportunities, readers may contact Gudgeon at 610-692-1897 or calebgudgeon@trinityag.org. Those in need of food are also asked to contact Gudgeon.

More information about the church is available at www.trinityag.org or www.facebook.com/TrinityAGWC.

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Grant Provides Van For Food Donation Pickup September 11, 2018

Thanks to a grant from the KTA Funding Hope Foundation, Trinity Assembly of God (AG) has been given a helping hand with its mission to serve hungry people in the community through its Joseph's Closet food bank, part of the church's Trinity Compassion Ministries (TCM) program.

Dave Kovach, president of KTA Funding Hope Foundation, recently visited Trinity AG in West Chester to present the church with a check for $14,000. The funds were used to purchase a 2016 Dodge Ram that is helping to transport food that is donated by local restaurants, fast-food establishments, grocery stores and convenience stores.

"The whole back of the van is used for storage. We pick up food every single day," explained Caleb Gudgeon, TCM director. "We distribute 2,500 pounds of food a week. We literally feed thousands of people in the greater Philadelphia area every single week."

Trinity AG and KTA Foundation logos will eventually be added to the van.

Gudgeon explained that he filled out a grant application at www.ktafundinghope.org, hoping to receive at least part of the money to finance the cost of the van. "I told them that whatever they could do would be helpful," he explained. "They got back to me in a couple weeks, and they said that they wanted to pay for it in full to help out our ministry."

Kovach, a managing partner at Kistler-Tiffany Advisors, explained that the foundation has a mission to provide financial support to individuals and charitable organizations in the community, as well as those that help animals.

"We're a financial planning company, and we created a charitable foundation," Kovach explained. "We do not give to general funds. We want to know that our money is doing something. Buying the van is exactly what we are looking to do. We debated as a board if we were going to give (part) of the money, and we just decided to finance the whole thing."

In addition to the grant to Trinity AG, the foundation recently donated educational materials to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bucks County and provided a grant to Surrey Services for Seniors.

Trinity AG pastor Jimmy Smuda said the van donation was a blessing to the church and the ministry, noting that the church uses three vans to pick up food donations. The items are then delivered to partner organizations for distribution in Coatesville, Philadelphia and Wilmington, Del., among other areas.

"One of the vans totally broke down. We would have really been stuck had (the foundation) not supplied a new one," he said. "It was perfect timing."

The community is invited to help the church with its food ministry. People may donate canned food at any time by placing donations in the waterproof food collection bin located outside the church. Items that the food bank is especially in need of include soup, canned fruit and vegetables, peanut butter and jelly.

The church is also in need of volunteer drivers to pick up and deliver food. A driver's license and a clean driving record are required.

Trinity AG is located at 1022 Pottstown Pike, West Chester. For more information, including volunteer opportunities, readers may contact Gudgeon at 610-692-1897 or calebgudgeon@trinityag.org. Those in need of food are also asked to contact Gudgeon.

More information about the church is available at www.trinityag.org or www.facebook.com/TrinityAGWC.

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Donations Sought To Benefit CVCCS August 29, 2018

A donation drive is taking place in September to benefit the food bank at Conestoga Valley Christian Community Services (CVCCS). The goal of the drive is to decrease the prevalence of hunger and poverty in Lancaster County.

Individuals who donate two cans of food or a set minimum financial amount to CVCCS will receive admission to a performance of the Magic and Wonder Show from Wednesday, Sept. 12, to Wednesday, Sept. 29, at Bird-in-Hand Stage, 2760 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bird-in-Hand. Individuals must present a valid ID at the box office along with their donations.

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Hope's Closet Posts Hours August 23, 2018

Hope's Closet at Pathway Community Church, 1731 W. Philadelphia St., York, will be open on Saturday, Sept. 1, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Savings will be offered on all men's and women's jeans, and there will also be a selection of fresh fall fashions for the whole family.

The children's department features back-to-school clothes and toys and games. Household items include curtains, bedding, kitchenware, cookware, gifts, and more, and the newly expanded home decor section features fall decorating items and small-scale furniture.

Free clothing items are available for people of all ages, along with free food items.

For more information, readers may call Pathway Church at 717-793-8070, search for "Hope's Closet-York" on Facebook, or visit www.pathwaycc.org.

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Donation Supports Bear Bags Program August 17, 2018

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Food Pantry Seeks Volunteers August 15, 2018

Twin Valley Food Pantry (TVFP), an outreach ministry of Conestoga Mennonite Church, 2779 Main St. (Route 23), Morgantown, is in need of volunteers to work at the upcoming food distribution, to be held on Tuesday, Aug. 28, from 5 to 7 p.m. In addition, volunteers are sought to stock the pantry prior to the distribution.

Adult volunteers, as well as high school students, can help stock the pantry on Wednesday, Aug. 22, beginning at 7 p.m. following the delivery of food by the Greater Berks Food Bank and the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. Volunteers will also sort and unload food items from local donations and food drives. Stocking volunteers will work for approximately two hours.

On distribution day, volunteers will meet at the church at 3 p.m. About 85 volunteers are needed for the evening for setup, distribution and cleanup. The work is usually completed at approximately 8:30 p.m. Volunteers may work the whole evening or volunteer as much time as they can. Volunteers are also needed to serve as Spanish translators.

As with all distribution days, food pantry clients will also enjoy a homemade meal. On Aug. 28, roast beef will be the main dish. Hot dogs will also be served. Volunteers are needed to provide side dishes such as macaroni and cheese, potatoes and salads. Donations of beverages, including lemonade, punch and soda, are also needed.

For more information on how to contribute to the dinner, readers may email meal coordinator Kathleen Weaver at kmw54_405@hotmail.com.

In the monthly food pantry newsletter, Howard Moss, who runs the pantry along with his wife, Carol, reported that in July, the TVFP served 140 families, representing 571 people.

He credited the community for the success of the pantry, which has distributed more than 1 million pounds of food since it opened at Conestoga Mennonite Church in 2009. Prior to that, the pantry was located at Morgantown Methodist Church for more than 15 years.

"We distributed approximately 16,500 pounds of food, personal health and hygiene items," Moss reported, thanking donors in the community for contributing financially or for coordinating food drives. "Thank you all for the hundreds of volunteer hours each month making this important community mission possible. We can always use help volunteering at the TVFP. Please consider joining (us) this month."

The pantry is also seeking financial contributions, as well as donations of food and other items. Items can be dropped off at the Conestoga Mennonite Church office on Tuesdays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Those who cannot drop off food donations at the designated times may schedule a time to donate by emailing Moss at hamoss@ptd.net.

Items that are needed by the pantry include sugar, cereal, paper products, laundry detergent, dishwashing soap and bars of soap, as well as beverages such as soda, water and fruit juices that do not require refrigeration. Fresh vegetables, fruits and eggs are always welcome a few days before a distribution.

For more information about the pantry, including volunteer opportunities, readers may email Moss, call the church office at 610-286-9124 or visit www.twinvalleyfoodpantry.org or www.facebook.com/twinvalleyfoodpantry.org.

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God's Clothing Closet Event Planned At Ruhl's UMC August 10, 2018

"It's a huge event, and it's a lot of fun." That is how organizer Kris Gray succinctly described God's Clothing Closet, an annual clothing giveaway held at Ruhl's United Methodist Church, 4810 Elizabethtown Road, Manheim, held just in time for the dawning of a new school year. "We have people who come because they want something new and some people who are in desperate need of something," shared Gray.

The community is invited to shop for free quality used clothing, footwear, and accessories for men, women, and children in all sizes and for all seasons at this year's event on Saturday, Aug. 25, from 8 to 11 a.m. Clothing is organized by size and displayed on clothing racks or tables for ease of shopping. The facility is air-conditioned and handicapped-accessible, and it has plenty of parking. On-site child care will be offered while parents shop.

In addition to clothing, free Bibles and devotional materials will be on hand for adults and children. A limited number of quilts handmade by Ruhl's church members will also be available for new mothers.

Once folks are finished shopping, they are welcome to relax and enjoy musical entertainment, light refreshments, and a game room in an area separate from the clothing setup.

Gray noted that donations of nonperishable food or toiletries for the Manheim Central Food Pantry are encouraged but not required. Currently, items needed for the food pantry include canned fruit, canned meat and soups, peanut butter, strawberry jelly, cereal, and boxed potatoes.

Last year, God's Clothing Closet welcomed 465 shoppers - most of whom arrived in the first hour, Gray said. "The line of shoppers before we opened the doors stretched to the Prayer Garden, and some of those shoppers arrived before 5:30 a.m.," recounted Gray. "Several shoppers who attend every year took the time to stop and thank us for this needed ministry and how it personally blessed them." In addition to giving away clothing, approximately 220 Bibles and 37 handmade comforters were distributed to guests at the 2017 event. Five large boxes of nonperishable food donated by shoppers were given to the Manheim Central Food Pantry.

Any items left over at the event's end will be donated to Community Aid. Collecting clothing, shoes, and accessories for the next God's Clothing Closet is a yearlong process, and donations of quality used items are welcome at any time.

For more details on making a donation or about God's Clothing Closet, readers may call the church at 717-665-3400.

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Hope's Closet Posts Hours August 9, 2018

Hope's Closet at Pathway Community Church, 1731 W. Philadelphia St., York, will be open on Saturday, Aug. 18, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Hope's Closet will hold its semiannual bag sale; there will be a set price per bag for all women's, men's and children's clothing. The sale will not include shoes, accessories and jeans.

Shoppers may browse a variety of women's tops, shorts, capris, slacks, dresses, skirts, and light jackets, including many plus-size items. Men's shirts, shorts, and slacks will be available. Sales will be offered on men's shoes.

There will also be a sale on frames and framed art, Other items will include curtains, bedding, kitchenware, cookware, gifts, and home decor, such as small-scale furniture. The newly expanded children's area will include books, games, and toys, including parts from name-brand creative building sets. Free clothing items will be available for people of all ages, along with free food items.

For more information, readers may call Pathway Church at 717-793-8070, search for "Hope's Closet-York" on Facebook, or visit www.pathwaycc.org.

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MOPC To Host Special Events August 2, 2018

Middle Octorara Presbyterian Church (MOPC), 1199 Valley Road, located 4 miles east of Quarryville on Route 372, will host two special events this month.

Singer, songwriter, and storyteller Mark Cable will be the featured speaker and musician during the worship service at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 12. The presentation is described on promotional materials as "a special morning of music, ministry, renewal, laughter, and encouragement." An offering will be received to offset the costs of the event.

Adults are welcome to attend Sunday school at 9 a.m. A time of fellowship will be held from 10 to 10:20 a.m. An unstaffed nursery will be available during Sunday school and worship.

The Presbyterian Women's group will hold its annual clothing giveaway on Saturday, Aug. 18, from 7 a.m. to noon. Clothing and shoes will be available free of charge, but those who are able are asked to bring nonperishable food items for the food bank at Solanco Neighborhood Ministries. While anyone who needs clothing is welcome to attend, the organizers respectfully request that resellers not participate in this event. Additionally, program coordinator Boni Henry noted that the giveaway will occur only on Saturday morning, as she has received calls to open the event on other days in past years.

Church members have donated shoes and attire in a variety of sizes, and there should be clothing suitable for most people from birth through adulthood. Clothing donations - especially children's items - are welcome, and folks may call Shirley Miller at 717-786-3690 to make arrangements.

"We want to help families in need, especially those with kids," Henry remarked. "This is another way (for us) to reach out and help the community."

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Church Offers Food Pantry August 1, 2018

Spry Church, 50 School St., York, offers a food pantry to those in need. Interested individuals may contact the church office at 717-741-1429 by 4 p.m. on Wednesday each week to receive assistance. Food pickup is available on Thursdays from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

For individuals unable to pick up food on Thursday mornings, the food pantry will be open on the second Monday evening of each month from 6 to 7 p.m. To reserve a food box for Monday evening, readers may call the aforementioned phone number by 3 p.m. on Monday.

More information is available at www.sprychurch.com.

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Hope's Closet To Offer Items July 26, 2018

Hope's Closet at Pathway Community Church, 1731 W. Philadelphia St., York, will be open on Saturday, Aug. 4, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Hope's Closet will hold its semiannual bag sale; there will be a set price per bag for all women's, men's and children's clothing in August. The sale will not include shoes, accessories and jeans.

Shoppers may browse a variety of women's tops, shorts, capris, slacks, dresses, skirts and light jackets, including many plus-size items. Men's shirts, shorts, and slacks will be available. Sales will be offered on men's shoes.

In addition to clothing, the children's area will include books, games, toys, and more. Household items will include curtains, bedding, kitchenware, cookware, gifts, and home decor, including small scale furniture. Sales will be offered on picture frames and framed art in August. Free clothing items will be available for people of all ages, along with free food items.

For more information, readers may call 717-793-8070, search for "Hope's Closet-York" on Facebook or visit www.pathwaycc.org.

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Hope's Closet To Offer Items July 26, 2018

Hope's Closet at Pathway Community Church, 1731 W. Philadelphia St., York, will be open on Saturday, July 21, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Hope's Closet will hold its semiannual bag sale; there will be a set price per bag for all women's, men's and children's clothing in July. The sale will not include shoes, accessories and jeans.

Shoppers may browse a variety of women's tops, shorts, capris, slacks, dresses, skirts and light jackets, including many plus-size items. Men's shirts, shorts, and slacks will be available. Sales will be offered on men's shoes.

In addition to clothing, the children's area will include books, games, toys, and more. Household items will include curtains, bedding, kitchenware, cookware, gifts, and home decor, including small scale furniture. Free clothing items will be available for people of all ages, along with free food items. Attendees may enter a giveaway drawing for the Hello Summer basket, which includes gift items and a gift card.

For more information, readers may call 717-793-8070, search for "Hope's Closet-York" on Facebook or visit www.pathwaycc.org.

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Color My Dreams 5K To Support Hands Across The Street July 18, 2018

Hands Across the Street serves people in Columbia and the surrounding areas in more ways than one, and Deb Bixler is hopeful that the inaugural Color My Dreams 5K will help to make the community aware of the breadth and depth of the organization's outreach efforts. Hands Across the Street is based at Columbia Presbyterian Church and offers free community meals, a Summer Food Service Program for children, Fourth Street Cafe events, a clothing bank, a winter shelter, and a comprehensive transitional living program.

"There are a lot of people in need, and sometimes we live in our own bubble or we reach out to faraway places instead of right here (in our community), and there are needs right here," remarked Bixler, who is organizing the 5K together with her family and other volunteers. All proceeds from the event will support Hands Across the Street.

The Color My Dreams 5K is set to take place on Saturday, Aug. 18, at the Chickies Creek Day Use Area, 1467 Long Lane, Columbia. People of all ages are invited to run or walk the course, which will follow a loop on Long Lane and through open fields and trails. The race will step off at 10 a.m. Five color stations will be situated at various points along the route, and organizer Eric Price noted that eco-friendly, biodegradable powder will be used for the color materials that will douse participants. Volunteers, including local student cheerleaders, will be on hand to provide plenty of crowd support for participants.

To register in advance, interested individuals may visit www.has5k.com. Separate prices have been set for adults and for children age 13 and under. The deadline to be guaranteed a race T-shirt is Monday, July 30, but folks may continue to register after that date and on the day of the event. Event-day registration and check-in will be open from 9 to 9:45 a.m. Participants will also receive breakfast during that time.

Several local food trucks will have items available to purchase during and after the race, including savory and sweet stuffed waffles, ribs, wings, ice cream, milkshakes, and more. A local disc jockey will be spinning tunes as well. Yard games will be set up to enjoy, and children may also play on the park's playground. "It's a family-type event," said Bixler, noting that folks who may not be interested in running or walking in the 5K are still more than welcome to attend the event and support Hands Across the Street.

"It's definitely community-driven. We're just trying to educate people in the local area and across all of Lancaster County about what Hands Across the Street does," Price said.

According to www.columbiahas.org, 87 percent of students residing in Columbia Borough qualify for free or reduced lunches at school. During the summer months, Hands Across the Street steps in to meet that need. Hands Across the Street's Summer Food Service Program offers free meals to youths under age 18 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays through Aug. 17 at eight locations in Columbia and Wrightsville. A full list of those locations is available at www.columbiahas.org/projects. In 2017, the Summer Food Service Program served more than 8,000 meals to local children.

For more details on the Color My Dreams 5K, readers may visit www.has5k.com or call Price at 813-215-7801 or Bixler at 717-615-2934. Volunteers are also needed for race day and may contact Price or Bixler to sign up to assist.

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Lions Club's Collection Supports Food Pantry July 2, 2018

The Susquehanna Lions Club held its ninth "Fill the Truck" food drive for the Northeastern Food Pantry on June 22 to 24. This year, shoppers at the Giant Food Store in Manchester donated 5,160 items for the food pantry. Lions Nevin Weirich and Art Kasper helped to pack 209 boxes of nonperishable items for the food panty this year.

On behalf of the Northeastern Food Pantry, the Susquehanna Lions Club recognizes those who donated to the successful fundraiser. The club's motto is "We Serve."

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Caring Cupboard Sets Lunch Program June 28, 2018

The Caring Cupboard, 131 N. Railroad St., Palmyra, is offering its third annual Summer Lunch Program, which will run through Friday, Aug. 24.

One out of every five children in the Palmyra and Annville-Cleona school districts receives free or reduced-cost lunches during the school year. The Caring Cupboard aims to support all families in these school districts that qualify for free or reduced-cost lunches. The Summer Lunch Program provides five days' worth of breakfast and lunch items every week to the families who need them.

This year's annual Summer Lunch Food Drive took place on June 9. Volunteers set up tables at local grocery stores to collect donations, and donations were received from local businesses. Overall, the food drive collected more than 5,000 pounds of food and $800 in funds.

Sydney Kwiatkowski, a local 8-year-old, distributed flyers at three local developments, and Noah Ulrich, age 6, built, painted, and sold Nativity scene figurines to raise more than $850 for the Summer Lunch Program.

The Caring Cupboard is a community food pantry located in Palmyra, serving roughly 135 families weekly. Support for this venture is garnered by donations of product and funds from churches, businesses, civic organizations, and individuals.

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Hope's Closet To Offer Items June 26, 2018

Hope's Closet at Pathway Community Church, 1731 W. Philadelphia St., York, will be open on Saturday, July 7, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Hope's Closet will hold its semiannual bag sale; there will be a set price per bag for all women's, men's and children's clothing in July. The sale will not include shoes, accessories and jeans.

Shoppers may browse a variety of women's tops, shorts, capris, slacks, dresses, skirts and light jackets, including many plus-size items. Men's shirts, shorts, and slacks will be available. Sales will be offered on men's shoes.

In addition to clothing, the children's area will include books, games, toys, and more. Household items will include curtains, bedding, kitchenware, cookware, gifts, and home decor, including small scale furniture. Free clothing items will be available for people of all ages, along with free food items. Attendees may enter a giveaway drawing for the Hello Summer basket, which includes gift items and a gift card.

For more information, readers may call 717-793-8070, search for "Hope's Closet-York" on Facebook or visit www.pathwaycc.org.

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Clothes Closet To Open Doors June 20, 2018

St. James Lutheran Church, 2335 Cramer Road, Brogue, will open its Community Clothes Closet to the public on the first Saturday of every month from 8:30 to 10 a.m. The closet will be open on Saturday, July 7. Free clothing, shoes, and coats will be available for infants through adult size XXL. All items are clean, and some are new.

Donations of men's and children's clothing in all sizes are needed, especially boys' clothing in sizes 6 to 20. For more details, readers may call 717-927-9497, email stjamesbrogue@outlook.com, or visit https://stjamesbrogue.wixsite.com/home.

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Hope's Closet To Offer Items June 7, 2018

Hope's Closet at Pathway Community Church, 1731 W. Philadelphia St., York, will be open on Saturday, June 16, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

June is Father's and Men's month at Hope's Closet. Sales will be offered on all men's apparel, including shoes. All men will receive a free gift and an opportunity to win a basket. Gifts for men will be available.

Sales will be offered on women's separates including tops, skirts, dresses, jeans, shorts, slacks, and capris.

The children's area will include clothes, books, games, toys, and more. Household items will include curtains, bedding, kitchenware, cookware, gifts, and home decor, including small scale furniture. Free clothing items will be available for people of all ages, along with free food items.

For more information, readers may call 717-793-8070 or search for "Hope's Closet-York" on Facebook or at www.pathwaycc.org.

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Hope's Closet To Offer Items May 23, 2018

Hope's Closet at Pathway Community Church, 1731 W. Philadelphia St., York, will be open on Saturday, June 2, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The June event will focus on fathers and men of all ages, with gifts for fathers and sales offered on all men's apparel. In addition, a free cloth bag will be given to all who make a purchase of a set minimum amount.

Additionally, there will be a selection of women's separates, such as tops, skirts, dresses, jeans, shorts, slacks, and capris in sizes from extra-small to 4X. The newly expanded children's area includes clothes, books, games, toys, and more. Household items include curtains, bedding, kitchenware, cookware, gifts, and more, and the newly expanded home decor section features small-scale furniture.

Free clothing items will be available for people of all ages, along with free food items, including bread.

For more information, readers may call 717-793-8070, search for "Hope's Closet-York" on Facebook, or visit www.pathwaycc.org.

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Barbecue To Support Martic Pantry May 22, 2018

Martic Pantry will benefit from proceeds of a chicken barbecue, which will be held at Martic Store, 561 Martic Heights Drive, Holtwood, on Saturday, June 2. The sale will run from 10:30 a.m. until sold out. Chicken, beverages, chips, and whoopie pies will be sold.

All proceeds will benefit Martic Pantry, which assists local families in need with free groceries each month. Readers may call 717-923-0561 for more information.

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