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West End Fair to support food pantries

Published August 16. 2019 02:37PM

West End Fairgoers shouldn’t go hungry next week, as the West End Food Pantry prepares to offer new XL smoked turkey legs for $7.50 and corn dogs for $2.50 as well as their best-selling $6.50 gyros at their stand next to the bandstand.

Last year the food pantry, located in the Eldred Township Community Center in Kunkletown, found out about the opportunity to host a stand at the fair just three weeks before it started, said Director Karena Thek.

“We just kind of winged it last year,” Thek said. “This is our second year. We’re going in with a little bit more experience … so I think you’re gonna see a more organized food stand from us this year.”

Clams are no longer on the menu, and last year’s traditional mac and cheese will be replaced with deep-fried mac and cheese bites, Thek said.

“We are super excited about our new crazy large turkey leg, which is sort of similar to everybody that knows the famous Disney turkey leg,” Thek said.

Plus, the fair association told Thek that their corn dogs will be the first in the fair’s memory, she said.

The food pantry has high hopes for fundraising.

“It’s a huge labor to pull off a West End fair stand, as all the area fire companies know,” Thek said. “(But) I would like to see this be our largest fundraiser to at least bring food into our facilities for a good six months of this year.”

All profits from the stand will go toward buying food for the needy, Thek said.

The Fair Association is also pitching in by creating their first Fight Hunger day on Tuesday.

From noon to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, those who bring a nonperishable food item to the front gate will get an admission ticket for half-price, and for every additional food item will get a half-price ride wristband per person.

The food will be distributed evenly between three food pantries in the West End: PVEN, Effort United Methodist Church and the West End Food Pantry.

Thek said that the initiative came about after the West End Food Pantry started working with the Fair Association last year.

“They realized what we were working for and why we’re doing what we’re doing and became pretty active in West End Food Pantry,” Thek said.

“We thought it was a good way to give back to the community by giving three food banks the opportunity to get extra food for the upcoming holidays, and give the people of the community a break coming into the fair,” said Fair Association President Dale Greenzweig Jr.

The fair directors worked together to implement the new initiative.

“It’s not ‘I,’ it’s ‘we’ — the directors as a whole,” Greenzweig said.

The fair will be held in Gilbert from Aug. 18-24.

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