How Blessings of Hope is Responding to COVID-19
Check back regularly for updates. – We are working on a COVID-19 response plan and how we can effectively serve the community.
Updated 05/12/2020 – Thank you for all your cooperation at Blessings of Hope as we navigated these intense times the last few months. Since March 24, 2020, Blessings of Hope has packed and distributed over 110,000 prepacked family boxes!
As Lancaster County opens back up, we are looking at next steps to continue to safely serve our communities.
Effective immediately, we will be discontinuing mandatory health screening before entering our facility. We do ask that you make sure that you are healthy before coming to Blessings of Hope and our staff may need to send you home if you show symptoms of being sick.
Updated 04/29/2020 – Thank you for all you are doing for Blessings of Hope. Getting this and future Phases funded is the only thing limiting the volume of food and efficiency of operations, that can be achieved in the future, by keeping construction moving forward.
Please download and print the attached flyer, and share it with anyone you think would have an interest in donating towards the building renovation project at Blessings of Hope.
We would also be honored if you would share this opportunity with your employees, family, and friends. (Click Here to Download)
Because of the support of our generous community, and the expertise of our contractors in constructing a facility we can operate out of, Blessings of Hope was able to pack and distribute 76,522 prepacked boxes of food since March 24, 2020. On top of that, if the average prepacked food box weighed 40 lbs, we distributed an additional 1.3 million lbs. to our partner ministries that did not get the prepacked boxes of food.
According to our research, the IRS figures and average wholesale value of a lb of food at $1.67 per lb. Since March 24, 2020 (When we started packing the Community Blessings Food Boxes) Blessings of Hope distributed 4.3 million lbs of food, or equivalent to over $7 million worth of food (in 37 days)!
Thank you for your support, and the trust that you have shown in this organization, we greatly appreciate it!
Updated 04/24/2020 – We are currently facing extreme increase in demand from churches and organizations that serve people who do not have anything to eat.
- We hear testimonials all the time such as:
- We are so grateful for this food box, we were down to eating sugar cubes.
- All I have food-wise is 3 oranges in my house, your box of food was a tremendous blessing
- I just want to say THANK YOU for the food that was given to us this week. My son and his wife have been out of work an have not received any money for 7 weeks. I picked up a box for them. Very kind and much appreciated. God bless you.
- Thank you so much! My mom was there today and got food. She said after she got it she pulled the car over and cried. She said everyone was so nice to her and she felt very welcome and not ashamed. Thank you again!
- I would like to Thank You and all your Volunteers who braved the weather yesterday. You were a BIG BLESSING to so many people. I got a box for my son and you would have thought it was Christmas. Thank you for helping us all who are in need of food at this time. May God continue to Bless You
- I just wanted to take the time to thank you for yesterday’s food box. We have been eating mostly prepackaged food, so it was so wonderful to have fresh fruits and vegetables. I live in York and it took almost an hour to get there, but it was worth it.
- I just wanted to say Thank You so so much for the food box yesterday that I picked up. I just couldn’t believe all the food that was in that box. It means more to me than you’ll ever know. Thank you again so much!! God Bless
- Dear Blessing of Hope, I cried while I opened my box of food you distributed today. I lost my home days before the shut down of PA. Someone in Lancaster county took me in. But they do not understand that I can’t eat many foods and that what they consider healthy food can make me very sick. I have been hungry for the first time in my life. I have health problems that are directly impacted by the foods I eat. I have had to choose hungry or being sick the next day, because I had only items to eat that effect my sensitive digestive tract. Most of the foods in the box are good for me. I cried because I know I will be able to eat something and not be sick. I am usually the person helping others. But this time I needed the help. THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART.
- I was a recipient of one of your boxes of food and I was able to donate it to a widow from our church that was very appreciative. Thanks for your generosity!
- I just wanted to say thank you so much for all you are doing. You are reaching people (like my family) who for the first time find ourselves in a household with no full time employment. Who feels lost at this time. Thank you so much again.
We have never walked through a pandemic like this before and ask for your prayers as we seek to do God’s will in providing for the less fortunate among us.
Updated 04/16/2020 – Blessings Of Hope is partnering with Four Seasons Produce, Inc. to do a Drive-Thru Style food giveaway to the Ephrata, Cocalico, Denver, Stevens, PA community and surrounding area.
If you are in need of food, you can pick up a free food box, with approx. 40 lbs of food, at Four Seasons Produce in Ephrata, PA on Tuesday, April 21, 2020, from 3:00 to 7:00 PM.
Please share this opportunity with your friends.
Reserve your ticket for a free food box below.
Updated 04/15/2020 – Effective immediately, Blessings of Hope is requesting that everyone entering our building wears a mask. Effective April 19, 2020, at 8:00 PM in response to the Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary’s order, we are requiring that everyone entering our building wears a face mask. https://www.wkbn.com/news/coronavirus/under-order-face-masks-mandatory-for-workers-in-pa/
Food Update. A few weeks ago we had more than enough food available to us. This past weekend at the rate we were distributing food, we had approximately 1-2 days worth of food supply left in our entire building. Praise God, through a few new food donors, the food volume has increased again quite drastically and we are excited to see what God will continue to do through Blessings of Hope.
Thank you for your ongoing prayers and support!
Because of your support, Blessings of Hope was able to distribute over 1.7 million lbs. of food the first 2 weeks of April 2020. This equates to over 40,000 family boxes of food (3 semi truck loads per day average) in 2 weeks!
A local businessman is donating $1,000 to Blessings of Hope to help in this time of crisis and he is challenging 100 other businessmen to match his donation.
Updated 04/11/2020 – In April 2020, we have already distributed 36% more food than we did the whole month of April 2019!
In the first 11 days of April, 2020, we have distributed 1,441,292 lbs. of food! This takes a LOT of food!! If all of this food would have been packed in 40 lb. boxes, that would equate to 36,032 boxes of food! (A little over 33 semi truckloads of food in 11 days)
This vast need does put a tremendous strain on our incoming food donations. A week ago, we had more than enough food available, today, we are running low on food.
If you know of any connections to getting more good food that would otherwise get wasted, please let me know.
Thank you to EVERYONE who has donated time, resources, and finances to help make ‘food on the table’ a reality for thousands of people during this time of crisis!
Updated 04/04/2020 – I was blessed to manage an outreach that Blessings Of Hope did this morning for a local business friend that had to lay off 300 employees within 2 weeks. This outreach was to the employees that lost their job.
It was heartwarming to see the interactions between the employees that were still there and their unemployed co-workers. As well as the owner of the company standing out there directing the traffic.
It was one way for the company to give back to their previous employees during hard times.
Updated 04/03/2020 – Last night we got approx. 4,000 gallons of milk pasteurized and bottled, and tomorrow and Monday, we have a processor that has committed to doing another 5,000 gallons.
We have another processor that has committed to doing 5,000 gallons on Tuesday.
If you have any connections to a processing plant that could process milk for us, we could distribute 100,000 gallons in the next 30 days. Our cost to process milk is approximately $0.80 per gallon. Donations appreciated to help get as much milk processed as possible.
I believe we have access to the milk if we can figure out the process to get it pasteurized and bottled.
Of the 13 loads of produce we were offered yesterday, we didn’t act fast enough and 8 loads of that have been sent to the landfill by last night.
You can donate by going to our website or mailing a check to Blessings Of Hope – PO Box 567 – Ephrata, PA 17522
Thank you to everyone who is donating time and finances to help make food a reality to thousands of people in their time of need.
Updated 04/02/2020 1:00 PM – A local businessman is donating $1,000 to Blessings of Hope to help in this time of crisis and he is challenging 100 other businessmen to match his donation.
Please donate and tag your friends that you want to challenge!!
Updated 04/02/2020 11:00 AM – Urgent need. Blessings Of Hope was offered 13 semi truckloads of produce, as much milk as we want, and possibly multiple chicken houses full of live chickens this morning.
Getting food is usually not a problem, finding people that need food is not a problem, our only limitation at this point is financial support to get the available product to where it needs to go.
You can donate on our website or mail a check to Blessings of Hope, PO Box 567, Ephrata, PA 17522
$7.00 allows us to distribute 1, 40 lb. family box of food.
$50.00 = 7+ boxes, $100.00 = 14+ boxes, $250.00 = 36 boxes, $500.00 = 75 boxes, 1000 = 150 boxes, $100,000 allows us to distribute 15,000 family boxes.
This is food that will otherwise either go down the drain, get composted, or go to a landfill somewhere. The milk and chickens are not even processed yet and 8 of the 13 semi loads of produce have not been unloaded from the trucks yet. It is simply an overrun in the supply chain.
It is heartbreaking/exciting to see the need, on one hand, see the waste on the other hand, and trusting God to make the connections!
Updated 04/02/2020 8:00 AM – Thank you to Ryan Eldredge CBS 21 News for featuring Blessings of Hope in the CBS morning show this morning. https://local21news.com/news/local/lancaster-county-food-bank-shifts-into-high-gear-to-serve-community-during-pandemic
Updated 03/31/2020 -Does anyone have it on their heart to figure out how to get raw products processed for Blessings Of Hope? Make connections with the processing facilities and raise the money to pay for the processing.
In the last week, we had access to live chickens, live pigs, and now it looks like we would have access to raw milk!
If you want more information, text or call David Lapp at 717-725-3533 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated 03/30/2020 – Why should we as a church reach out in this time of crisis? What would change if the ‘Body of Christ’ would serve the community the way it was intended to serve, instead of relying on the government to have to step in with a stimulus package. Why are we depending on the government to bail us out?
Blessings of Hope makes it easy and cost-effective to serve your friends and neighbors in need. Here are a few ways that we believe can be utilized to bless thousands of people!
- Outreach – facilitate a drive-thru outreach (drive-thru outreaches allow you to serve a lot of people without gathering large groups of people) using Eventbrite ticketing (or simply set up in the poor end of town). Eventbrite is a very simple system and works great.
- Small group – as a small group, you can easily reach out to a few people who you know lost their jobs or are struggling in some other ways that you want to bless.
- Individual – find someone who needs encouragement and bless them in this time of crisis with a one on one outreach.
- Church/business leaders – sponsor food boxes and empower your members/employees to individually bless people they know, or simply find people who are struggling or lost their jobs.
- Employer – if you had to lay off some of your workforce, consider blessings them with a box of food in their time of need.
- Shut-ins/Quarantines – if you know of someone who is shut-in at home and needs encouragement, you can drop off a food box outside their door and let them know it’s there. Blessings without contact!
Get creative, think outside the box, be the church. While our mission at Blessings of Hope is to reach out with food and acts of love, we are in no way saying this is the only way to reach the less fortunate in this time of crisis.
People will soon forget what you said and what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel!
You can now reserve prepacked food boxes for families and individuals in need and do your own outreach. Check out the ‘Brand New’ Online Store on our website.
Updated 03/27/2020 – We now have prepacked family boxes available for a donation of $7.00 for a box with approximately 35 to 40 lbs. of food. If you know of anyone who needs food, this is a way that you can efficiently do food outreach to a few families in their time of need. You can either order online or stop by Blessings of Hope, 500 Becker Rd., Leola, PA 17540, and ask for “Community Blessings Food Boxes” at the front desk. Because we are handling and packaging food, please be aware of the fact that we have mandatory health screening going on for everyone who wants to enter our facility.
You can also order through our website at www.blessingsofhope.com and click on Order Online and we will bring the boxes out to your car so you can avoid the health screening tent.
Updated 03/26/2020 – Volunteer Hours of Operation – Monday to Friday – Arrive between 8:00 and 8:30 AM for the morning shift, 12:30 and 1:00 PM for the afternoon shift, and 6:00 and 6:30 for the evening shift.
Saturday – Arrive between 8:00 and 8:30 AM for the morning shift and 12:30 and 1:00 PM for the afternoon shift – No volunteers on Saturday evenings
Please schedule your volunteer times during the COVID-19 relief efforts by filling out the volunteer form on the volunteer page.
Updated 03/22/2020 – NOTICE: Everyone entering our building is subject to health screening at our health tent.
Until further notice, to limit the number of people in our building, we are asking that the minimum volunteer age be 10 years old.
Please check back frequently to our COVID-19 Response page for more updates on how we are shifting our operational opportunities and strategies. Expect major changes in the next few days.
We appreciate your understanding as we do what we need to do to stay operational in a safe manner.
What is Blessings of Hope doing to keep our volunteers safe during the COVID-19 Crisis?
- We have a health screening tent set up outside our building that is staffed by EMTs and other trained personnel to screen everyone coming into our building. – Our staff are instructed to watch for anyone who may be potentially sick
- Hand washing for everyone before starting to work.
- Everyone who volunteers wears gloves while handling food.
- Practice social distancing, try and keep 3-6 feet between yourself and others whenever possible.
At Blessings of Hope, we depend on the generosity and hard work of our volunteers to maximize the value of the food we provide to the community.
Updated 03/21/2020 – We are aggressively working on a COVID-19 emergency response plan and how we can most effectively serve the community. – Check back regularly to our COVID-19 Response page on our website for ongoing updates.
Thousands of people want to help and we need your help, but, before we just do something, we need to finalize our plan and leadership team.
I expect to have details coming out over the next few days.
If you want to help in a leadership position, please fill out the volunteer form on our website, list your experience and a minimum of 2 references in the comments section. Be as specific as you can.
We are looking for leadership in many different areas of our operation as we look to increase our food donation capacity by up to 10 times.
Thank you for your prayers and ongoing financial support during this time of great need. Let’s rise up as the Body of Christ and serve the needs of our communities!
God bless you, David Lapp – CEO – Blessings of Hope
Updated 03/20/2020 – I just want to get you involved in what we are thinking. We believe we have the capacity to comfortably pack 100,000 food boxes within the next 30 days.
We have an opportunity like I never saw before to serve the people in need in our community in a time of crisis. I am in communication with Congressman Lloyd Smucker and Senator Ryan Aument on how to do outreaches without gathering large crowds of people. What we came up with is a Drive-Thru outreach model. All boxes will be prepacked, everyone needs a ticket, and we have people putting the boxes into people’s cars as they pull up.
By pre-packing all food boxes, we can (at least to a certain point) control the exposure in-house while GREATLY reducing the exposure at the actual food outreach events. I spoke with the emergency manager of Lancaster County this morning and he really liked our plan. He said we may want to consider finding a few doctors that we can add to our team.
What I am seeing is if we act responsibly we will be able to have a huge impact on the community in a very positive way.
Are we buying into the hype of this whole thing? NO. We are not buying into the fear and hype, however, if we don’t take it seriously and act responsibly, we will very likely be shut down because we do have crowds of people coming together. I believe we need to respect the crisis for what it is, or we will be shut down.
I believe we can comfortably distribute 100,000 boxes of food in 30 days with the potential of 500,000 if everything is in place to pull it off.
I believe we have an opportunity here, How are we going to respond?
Please stay tuned for more information. I will push out more information as we develop it. Make sure you sign up to receive our emails to stay up with the process as things develop.
We believe if everyone pulls together, we can do a lot more for God’s Kingdom!
Please note: Blessings of Hope is taking extreme safety measures to keep our volunteers and the individuals receiving the food safe. Please do not attempt to volunteer if you are anyone in your house is sick.
Effective Monday, March 23, 2020, before you enter our building, you will be checked out by EMTs or trained individuals in our ‘Health Screening Tent’ and asked to follow specific safety measures as determined by the team leading this effort.
God bless you,
David Lapp – CEO – Blessings of Hope
ps. The demand for our services increases in situations like this. Please remember to donate to Blessings of Hope so we have the resources available to meet the increased demands of serving our community.
Thanks to a generous donor, during the month of March, all donations are matched by a 100% matching fund. Up to $60,000!