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Need is up at Crafton community food bank and garden

Dozens of area scouts collected and sorted donations they gathered for the Crafton Food Pantry during an April food drive in Crafton and Ingram. Pictured are members of Boy Scout troops 147 and 148 along with Cub Scout Pack 205.

By Sam Bigham

Andrea Marquis, manager of the Crafton Community Garden, provided updates on both the garden and the community food pantry to council members May 25.

Marquis described last year as a “pretty low year” when it came to community participation in the garden.

The garden, which Marquis began in 2014, usually yields between 1,000 and 1,400 pounds of produce, but 2022 only saw a yield of 420 pounds. The garden only had four regular volunteers last year which hampered the harvest.

This year is already an improvement over last, however, as 15 regular volunteers have been working in the garden.

Crafton’s food pantry, located in the First United Presbyterian Church, served 114 households and 240 individuals every month from January to March of this year.

“That’s pretty standard,” Marquis said, “although attendance and need for food is going up.”

The majority of clients were adults with 57% of those serviced being over the age of 35. An additional 23% were between the ages of 18 and 34.

The food pantry is open Tuesday and Wednesday and mainly services people in the Crafton and Ingram areas, but no one in need of food will be denied, she said.

Streetlights / parks

It came to the attention of council members that streetlights along Crafton Boulevard only illuminate the street and not the sidewalk. Because of this, the council approved a motion to reorient the lightbulbs to better illuminate the sidewalk.

Borough Manager Jim Price received approval to apply for a $250,000 grant through the Greenway Recreation and Trails Program.

The program is managed by the PA Department of Economic and Community Development and provides funding for the renovation of local parks. If the borough were to be awarded the grant, it would pay for the renovation of first Noble Park, then Linwood Park.

In other news:

  • The borough’s recreation, zoning hearing and the planning commission each have one available position. Additionally, there are two alternate positions on the civil service commission.

  • Three more positions on the recreation board will become available at the end of the year. Interested applicants may apply on the Crafton website.

  • The “Vendor Fair & Car Cruise” will be held on June 10 at Crafton Park from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. The borough is no longer accepting vendor or car submissions.

  • Crafton’s July 4 celebration will begin at 3 p.m. with bands and food. The firework show has been expanded for this year, according to officials.

  • A presentation on the Broadhead Sewer Separation Project will be given during the Thursday, June 8 council meeting which begins at 7:15 p.m.


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