Hot soup in Aliquippa
Growing Demand in Western PA’s
Food Pantries and Soup Kitchens
By Patti Conley
Beaver County Times
Dec. 11, 2010 – Seven days a week, anyone who is hungry can sit down at a soup kitchen somewhere in Beaver County. No questions asked.
A community schedule of meals, available online at http://www.bccan.org., lists the times when the 15 meals are available in churches from Beaver Falls to Aliquippa.
Such soup kitchens became a staple in the region 25 years ago when the steel industry stopped nourishing the area’s economy. Since then, soup kitchens and food pantries have filled food gaps for the chronically poor who are without jobs, benefits and money, and for those whose Social Security, disability and welfare benefits don’t stretch through the end of each month.
That was until recent months, when soup kitchen and food pantry staff said they began to see new faces at their tables and new names on food pantry applications, which are governed by income guidelines.
The nation’s rocky economy has delivered a direct blow to some middle-class Joes and Janes here in the Beaver Valley. An increase in local food pantry recipients brings home that point.