MANSFIELD — Deb Bastian of the Mansfield Food Pantry gave a presentation outlining the pantry’s outreach and needs at the Oct. 12 Mansfield Chamber of Commerce meeting. Bastian stressed the need for additional volunteers.
“Based on 2020 numbers, we served 100 households per week,” Bastian said. “We went from serving once a week to twice a month because it was tough on our volunteers.”
Mansfield Food Pantry has started a Volunteer & Sponsorship program to increase volunteer assistance and to provide participation opportunities for local businesses and community groups.
“We could use one to 12 volunteers on Wednesdays,” Bastian said. “Local businesses are already doing this, and they’ve reported that it’s a great team-building activity.”
Chamber Executive Director Dawn Hull noted that the Chamber office itself participates in this program.
Ryan McNamara of Mansfield University reported that the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education recently released enrollment numbers.
“MU enrollments increased for the third straight year,” McNamara said. “We’re only one of two schools, out of 14, who saw an increase. So that’s very good news.”
McNamara also reported that July 2022 will mark the beginning of the integration of Bloomsburg, Lock Haven and Mansfield universities.
Total academic, athletic and logistic integration is expected to phase in over three years. McNamara noted that this time frame was determined with input from MU faculty.
McNamara said that some community members have recently expressed concern that the Print Shop at MU will close after the integration.
“The Print Shop will not close,” McNamara said. “If anyone needs cards, banners, anything printed, it’ll be there.”
Jim Nobles of the Tioga County COVID-19 Task Force said that COVID-19 transmission rates remain high.
“Our positivity rates are staying steady though,” Nobles said. “They’re staying right around 14%.”
Nobles asked Chamber members to encourage the community to get vaccinated and also stressed the importance of flu shots.
“With the right efforts, we can combat this and do better than last year at this time,” he said.
Steve McCloskey gave an update on Mansfield’s recent flooding problems and infrastructure.
“We’ve made repairs after the most recent flooding, but we anticipate having to replace this 50-year-old infrastructure,” he said.
McCloskey also confirmed that the milling and repaving of Smythe Park to the I-99 Interchange, and from the bridge to the University, will take place in the summer of 2023.
He does not anticipate this PENNDOT project having noticeable impact on local businesses or parking.
Trunk or Treat is scheduled for Oct. 31 at Smythe Park from 5-7 p.m. This event allows businesses or community groups to distribute candy. The Chamber was reminded that individual families cannot participate. Town-wide trick or treating hours are also 5-7 p.m.