Thumbs up for food banks and a yard of Halloween pranks

York Dispatch Editorial Board

Thumbs up to the York County Food Bank and other food banks around the country that have stepped up to help hungry families during an unprecedented time.

The York County Food Bank has weathered 19 months of the heaviest demand it has ever seen, and while demand is down 10% since September, it is still nowhere near the level the food bank saw before the pandemic, according to CEO Jennifer Brillhart. 

Statistics reveal that bulk food distribution numbers from hundreds of food banks across the country have declined since the start of spring this year. But, according to The Associated Press, the amount of food being distributed by the nonprofit Feeding America’s more than 200 affiliated food banks still remains more than 55% above pre-pandemic levels.

More:Food insecurity remains high in York County: '2020 was just so extraordinary'

Ricardo Cabassa of York City, left, accepts a food item from Harvest of Blessing volunteer Randy Christy at the York County Food Bank Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. Harvest of Blessing operates out of the York County Food Bank warehouse on Princess Street in York City. Bill Kalina photo

And while less food from the nonprofit is making its way to those in need, that need is still there, Brillhart said.

"People are wary about coming to receive food — we do hear the message a lot that people don't want to take food," she said. “We can look at the numbers month by month, but generally we know the need is far greater."

As colder weather and holidays approach, both the York County Food Bank and the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank expect to see more people coming to their distribution centers to get healthy meals for their families.

You can help them with donations and volunteering time. For information about that, or if you need help, go to or /

Mark Daniels poses with an organ-playing ghoul at his West Manchester Township home Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. The self-professed "home haunter" decorates his house and yard with nearly professional-grade Halloween scenes and gets hundreds of visitors during the Halloween season. His birthday is on Halloween. Bill Kalina photo

Thumbs up to Mark Daniels, who makes sure his neighbors get a chill out of Halloween.

Each year since 1985, Daniels has crafted a yard of chills around his West Manchester Township home.

He has spent countless hours building scenes of decay and destruction, mostly using such ordinary materials as PVC pipe and scrap metal and wood. 

“It alerted the neighbors that we're really the place to be for Halloween," Daniels said. “We never lacked for trick-or-treaters, that's for sure."

The display draws hundreds of trick-or-treaters to the neighborhood every year for a fun scare 

“I've always enjoyed the art of Halloween, and that's really why I like to do it," said Daniels, whose birthday is Halloween.

Thumbs down to passengers on a SEPTA train who did nothing — or even recorded the act on their phones —as for 40 minutes a man harassed, groped and ultimately raped a woman, according to police.

More:Train riders held up phones as woman was raped, police say

More than two dozen train stops passed as the man assaulted the woman last week, the police chief for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority said at a news conference Monday. A SEPTA employee who was in the vicinity as the train went past called police to report that "something wasn't right" with a woman aboard the train, police said.

A suspect has been charged, but police have said no other passengers will be charged because not intervening during a crime is not illegal.

But while it might not be a crime to do nothing while an assault is happening, it's morally repugnant.

If you see a violent crime being committed, it's understandable to be reluctant to step in personally. But no one on that train even called 911 or pressed the emergency call button to alert authorities.