About Hometown Hearts
Hometown Hearts is a nonprofit charitable organization founded by Amy Yocum and Michele Rupert, the directors of the former Soup Kitchen for the past five years. As the ministry of the Soup Kitchen continued to expand, they catered to the growing need, became their own entity, and found an accommodating space at the St. James Lutheran Church located 525 Mifflin Street in downtown Huntingdon to fit this growing demand. (The mailing address is 834 Warm Springs Acres, Huntingdon.)
Hometown Hearts is an organization that participates in the Fresh Express food program every third Saturday of each month year-round. Fresh Express is a monthly food giveaway program to individuals and families that meet an income guideline requirement; however, proof of income is never required to participate in the program. Each month, several thousand pounds of food is delivered from the Central PA Food Bank in Harrisburg. There is always a wide variety of food available, but it is never known what food is coming until the refrigerated food truck arrives. Food received has included soups, cereals, juices, milk, eggs, cheeses, meats, pastas, stews, fresh fruits and vegetables, snack items, and various other items. The doors open at 9:30am, and food is distributed through 12pm.
In addition to the monthly food giveaway, a free meal is offered to anyone, regardless of income, every Thursday evening beginning at 6pm. This is one thing Hometown Hearts wants to stress is that the meal is open to everybody. If you don’t feel like cooking, can't cook, or don't have enough time to cook, please come by and pick up a meal for dinner or maybe lunch the next day. Currently, the meal is for take-out only, but we hope to begin sit-down meals by the beginning of November. The doors open at 6pm, and you will receive a full meal complete with fruit, salad, and dessert. You will also receive what we call a "goodie bag" filled with our weekly donations from all three local Sheetz stores and Walmart. Meals may be picked up until 7:30pm. There are nine churches and the Rotary Club scheduled throughout the year to help prepare the weekly meals. Churches that participate are Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church, St. James Lutheran, St. John's Episcopal, First United Methodist, 12th Street Methodist, Donation Methodist, Abbey Church, Alexandria Presbyterian, and Huntingdon Presbyterian.
The name Hometown Hearts comes from the fact that Huntingdon is the women's hometown, and they put their heart and soul into the ministry of feeding those in need. Being friends since their freshmen year of high school, they have always been helping people in various capacities throughout their lives. In addition to being co-founders of Hometown Hearts, both women each have over 30 years of work in their respective fields, Amy as a church secretary and Michele as a business owner.
Amy and Michele decided to have a name that did not limit their nonprofit charity to just food-related meals and giveaways. Both women were directly involved with retrieving items for the Blair House fire's displaced residents and assisting with their additional needs. The women have also helped homeless individuals, people with cancer, people who have difficulty filling out paperwork and forms, people with disabilities, people who have trouble achieving their basic needs, and people who just don't know where to turn for help. Amy and Michele have made themselves available to help those in need and do not want to limit what they can do. If there is a need, they will do whatever they can to fulfill that need. Please visit our website at hometownhearts.net, or you may text or call 814-599-4700 for any additional questions or information. Amy and Michele look forward to meeting new people and continuing God's work of feeding people, whether that hunger is for the mind, body, or soul.
Jim Kalos James Michael Kalos