Merski offers pandemic resource help sheet, announces food distribution event for service industry workers

Participants must register for event by 4 p.m. Dec. 17

ERIE, Dec. 16 -- State Rep. Bob Merski announced that his office is providing a free pandemic help sheet for residents and that Second Harvest Food Bank will be hosting a special food-distribution event from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Dec. 19 to benefit service industry workers impacted by layoffs and work reductions.

Merski, D-Erie, said he and his staff have been working with area utility providers, the United Way, and Second Harvest Food Bank for solutions to help workers who are temporarily laid off and still experiencing hardships due to the pandemic.

“There may be hope on the horizon in the form of a vaccine, but that is not a panacea for the many Erie workers and small-business owners feeling the economic brunt of the pandemic,” Merski said. “Through no fault of their own, workers in the service industry have been especially hard hit.

“The Second Harvest food distribution on Dec. 19 is a special event for the many workers laid off from jobs as servers, bartenders, casino workers, fitness industry staff and other positions in the service industry. The event will be held at the food bank’s 1507 Grimm Drive location from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday Dec. 19, but those who plan to participate must pre-register by 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17, by calling Second Harvest at 459-3663, ext. 114.

“I also want to remind all residents that the utility providers in our community offer flexible payment plans and are willing to work with customers to help them keep the power and lights on. My pandemic resource help sheet, which is available online through my webpage, provides handy phone numbers and tips to help residents find resources and navigate payment of bills.”

A copy of Merski’s pandemic resource sheet is available under the “Help and Services link on his website at Residents can also obtain a copy from his office.

Residents with questions should contact Merski’s office at 455-6319