Project SHARE (Survival Help And Recipient Education) is an interfaith cooperative effort, begun in 1985, involving over 66 local congregations, schools, and civic organizations. Contributions of food, money, and volunteerism provide essential basic assistance to more than 1000 families each month. Assistance is provided in the communities of Carlisle, Carlisle Springs, Mt. Holly Springs, Boiling Springs, Gardners, Plainfield, New Kingstown, and Middlesex. Of those needing assistance, about 20% are seniors and nearly 30% are children.
In October of 2002, Project SHARE moved to 5 North Orange Street #4, Carlisle. This space, provided by Dickinson College rent free and renovated by SHARE, offers 23,000 sq. ft. for food storage and distribution, a walk-in freezer and cooler, loading docks, and a training kitchen.
Project SHARE distributes food on the week of the third Thursday of each month. During that designated week, we also distribute food on Tuesday, on Wednesday during the late afternoon and Saturday morning of each month. Boxes contain approximately 50 nutritious food items; one weeks groceries for a family of four. The food, free to each family, costs SHARE approximately $15/box (retail value $175) thanks to generous community donations and food drives. Twenty teams of volunteers deliver food to some 90 homebound individuals and families. Other volunteers are available to discuss other difficulties including budget problems, referring them to other agencies whenever appropriate. To be eligible, individuals must reside in the Carlisle area and have an income below 150% of the federal poverty level.
The Farm Project is in its twenty-second season of operation. This gleaning program harvests donations of fresh produce from 36 local farms and growers. Church volunteers and food bank recipients work together in the fields to collect fresh, edible produce not gathered at regular harvest times. Locally grown crops include lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, kale, green beans, corn, squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, apples, potatoes, broccoli, and pumpkins. The work is demanding, but the rewards are many; all food is free for our labor. The Carlisle Area Health and Wellness Foundation, the Stuart Foundation, the United Way, Giant Foods Inc., Allen Distribution, as well as other local foundations and businesses, support our efforts to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables in a community wide effort to provide nutritious food to those in need.
Project SHARE recipients are encouraged to take an active volunteer role in the work of the Food Bank. Their help is critical to the overall ministry at SHARE. In addition, there are thirteen staff members, and a dedicated group of nearly 3000 volunteers a year.
The official registration and financial information of Project SHARE may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free, within Pennsylvania, 1 (800) 732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.