Following Saturday's article noting an unexpected silence for needs from churches and the local food bank, the local Salvation Army director weighed in. 

"It's true. I have not had the increase in requests for help that I expected," shared Pastor Eric Shafer, director of the Salvation Army. "During the last week of the food distribution at Joshua House, we even distributed flyers about the Salvation Army being available to help."

Only two households responded.

Church leaders and the food bank have attributed some of the decrease or plateau in needs during this time of unemployment and uncertainty because of the coronavirus to community outreach (neighbors helping neighbors), stimulus payments from the government, and unemployment payments for families and individuals affected by business closures. 

Share said he also expects that some needs have been met from the local school districts continuing to offer meals for children after schools were ordered to close in mid-March. 

"I hope [it is also] because the Tyrone Borough offered four weeks of food distribution in coordination with the churches of Tyrone, the abundance of food provided to the food bank, and the various financial programs offered by the government," Shafer said.

He worries that other reasons might be that people are simply not venturing out or they assume the Salvation Army is shut down because of the "stay at home" order.

"We are open," he advised. "Folks within our area who have an emergency need may call Church of the Good Shepherd to make an appointment at 814-864-2472."

Residents are reminded that the community churches, Tyrone Food Bank, and Salvation Army are still serving needs during this unexpected time of difficulty for all. The Salvation Army unit serves Tyrone, Bellwood, Tipton, Grazierville, Warriors Mark, and Union Furnace. 

Adeena Harbst can be reached at


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