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Souderton lauds church meal program


Souderton’s Mayor Dan Yocum this month presented the “Key to Souderton Borough” to Emmanuel Lutheran Church’s E-Meal Ministry Program, which provides food to those in need.

Pastor John Heidgard and his wife Ann Marie, who coordinates the E-Meal Ministry Program, accepted the key on behalf of the church.

“We have given these Keys to the Borough based on longevity; Jim Gallagher for 20 years as President of the (Perseverance) Fire Company, Tom Quinn, and Hope DeFrenes for the 30th anniversary of the Montgomery Theatre and Dr. Mark Lipkin for his retirement after 40 years in Souderton,” Yocum said during the February borough council meeting. “Tonight, we honor people and a program that has been in our community for less than five years, but has made a lifetime impact.”

The E-Meal program started in response to a recognized need during COVID and fed vulnerable residents nonperishable food items in brown paper bags six days a week with no questions asked.

The program that was intended to last just a few weeks just surpassed 500,000 meals delivered.

Today, it serves several hundred of boxes per week throughout the year with the support of more than 700 volunteers.

In other business from the meeting, Souderton Borough Council introduced new Solicitor John A Torrente, of Begley, Carlin & Mandio LLP.

Borough Police Chief Brian Newhall reported an increase in fraud or attempted fraud incidents involving Souderton residents. He also reported the month saw 14 vehicle crashes, not weather related, six of which were hit-and-run crashes. Additionally, major crimes decreased by 67% and minor crimes decreased by 20%.

Newhall and Public Works Director Steven Coll reported vandalism in Souderton Community Park. The chief attributed most of it to Souderton and Telford youths and Coll noted the bathrooms have frequently been targeted by vandals tossing wet toilet paper against the walls.

In the spirit of community policing, the police officers took advantage of the recent snow to join the children sledding at the Chestnut Street Park.

Council approved a revised fee schedule. Borough Manager Stacy Crandall said it was the first such update since 2014.

Also approved was a concession stand agreement for Downtown Scoop at the Souderton pool for the 2024 season.

Joseph J. Quigley was appointed to the planning commission. His term expires at the end of 2025.

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