In four hours on Saturday, Jan. 20, volunteers for Berks County’s Hunters Fighting Hunger gathered food and financial donations to support the Reading Salvation Army’s food distributions programs.
By combining contributions of frozen fish, game, fowl and non-perishable items with financial donations that are matched by state and other sources, the total collection this year exceeded 95,600 pounds of food to help those in need throughout Reading and Berks County.
The total triples the previous record collection of 23,000 pounds in 2016.
Volunteers manned six collection sites, Jan. 20: Neversink Gun Club, Cabela’s in Tilden Township, Christman Meats in Oley, Crossroads Family Restaurant, Route 61, Birdsboro Sportsmen’s Club, and Redner’s in Kenhorst.
In addition, Neversink Gun Club hosted a taxidermy display by Huey’s Taxidermy and a bucket raffle for at least 30 items, and Birdsboro Sportsmen’s Club held a raffle for a crossbow.
Donors included Paul Fretz of Morabito Baking Company, Norristown with 9,000 pounds of frozen items; Cabela’s in Tilden Township with a donation of 108 frozen turkeys; West Lawn Quoit Association, $500; Dengler Funeral Home, $100; Douglas Water Products, $100; and Alsace Manor FC Social Quarters, $2,500.
Sponsors of the annual food collection are Weikel’s Sportswear, A Great Day Outdoors radio program, Huey’s Taxidermy, Old River Restorations and Neversink Gun Club.
Presently the food is stored as a courtesy in the Berks County Food Bank, but according HFH chairman, Dave Hollenbach, next year’s collection will be stored in a new walk-in freezer facility at the Reading Salvation Army headquarters, south Fifth Street in Reading.
The Hollenbach’s at Neversink Gun Club admiring 108 frozen turkeys donated by Cabealas in Tilden Township.(Randy Wiswesser photo)