By Howard Monroe

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Hundreds of meals were delivered to those in need Sunday in Manayunk. It’s a tradition that’s gone on for two decades, but due to the coronavirus pandemic this year, there were some changes.

“We’re all struggling, but we seem to be helping each other along just because it’s important right now that we stay united as one,” Winnie Clowry, owner of Winnie’s Manayunk, said.

Neighbors helping neighbors as 750 meals were delivered from Manayunk’s restaurants Sunday to help feed those who need a hot meal.

“With all this bad, something good has to come out of it. And I have to tell you, I have never felt a bigger bond toward giving and giving in my community,” Clowry said.

They were one of nine restaurants that prepared the meals to be delivered to the elderly and other vulnerable neighbors. It was organized by the North Light Community Center.

In years past, the restaurants would donate the food, but because of the strain on the restaurant industry this year, North Light had to receive a grant to make the donations happen.

“If we couldn’t do this all together this wouldn’t be able to happen,” Krista Wieder, from the North Light Community Center, said.

This holiday food delivery program has been going on for 25 years, and they say with the pandemic going on this year, the need is greater now than ever before.

“Our service has gone up by about 20%,” Wieder said.

And it’s not just for the holidays.

North Light operates a food pantry and a food delivery service year-round and because of the pandemic, they started housing and utility assistance grant programs.

“As a community center, one of the wonderful benefits of being here is that people call all the time when they have needs and throughout this time that hasn’t been any different,” Wieder said.

“The Manayunk message is unity in community and that’s exactly what we’re doing, we’re all just sticking together,” Clowry said.

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