Winner, winner, chicken dinner

The bagged chicken dinners pictured helped raise more than $5,000 during The Links of Gettysburg fundraiser. The organization matched the total.

A fundraising meal that fed one community for a day provided enough money to sustain South Central Community Action Programs for up to a month.

Last week, The Links at Gettysburg organization sent its community an email invitation to purchase a chicken dinner, complete with coleslaw, a baked potato and a roll. Participants were encouraged to donate what they wished for the dinner and The Links organization would match it, according to a Facebook post on the land development’s website.

In little more than an hour after the email was sent, more than 70 orders were received. On Friday, the community dined on “Old Joe’s secret smoked chicken recipe,” which was hand-delivered door-to-door in paper bags. As a result, on Monday representatives from The Links presented SCCAP with a check for $10,570 to help support the local food pantry.

“This donation was such a surprise,” said Megan Shreve, SCCAP chief executive officer. “It really is such a good example of a group of people taking care of their friends and neighbors. It’s one of those amazing, really great moments amidst all this craziness.”

Under normal conditions, SCCAP’s six pantries see roughly 1,100 visitors per month. The donation would usually cover the operation for a full month, Shreve said.

However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, visitation has nearly doubled, she said. In addition, statewide demand has decreased SCCAP’s access to the Pennsylvania Food Bank, meaning more food must be purchased at cost by the organization. Under pandemic circumstances, the funds will still last for two to three weeks, Shreve said.

“We’re incredibly grateful,” she said. “It goes a long way toward purchasing food for families that need it.”

Anna Domzalski, a Links resident for the last four years, said she was impressed by the generosity of the neighborhood and organization, especially since the golf course and real estate agency are shut down.

“The neighborhood came together in a time of need,” she said. “We have a lot of retirees, so we’re not as severely affected as the rest of Gettysburg. The food bank is amazing. There’s a lot of people really suffering because they were cut off without notice and our heart goes out to them. We want to help out because we love where we live.”

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