VALENCIA — The Lighthouse Foundation reports a 24 percent increase in serving families over its two biggest months, November and December.
In November, the pantry served 340 homes in Allegheny County and 741 in Butler County. In December, it served 338 in Allegheny County and 720 in Butler County.
Also in December, the foundation held a toy drive. The holidays are an exceptionally telling time for food pantries as many see their numbers increase, while families are using their incomes to pay bills that might be more expensive this time of year, such as heat.
“We are a full-choice pantry at this point, so people can go through and pick their things,” said Lee Ann Hune, Lighthouse Foundation food programs and client support administrator.
The Lighthouse moved in October to its new location at 116 Browns Hill Road in Valencia. The move afforded the foundation more space to be able to have a larger layout for clients, which means they have options to pick out their food as they would at a grocery store, rather than picking up pre-packaged bags.
“We are doing well here, and we like it,” Hune said.