A Summit Hill man is organizing a fundraiser to benefit the food pantries of the Panther Valley, which are dealing with increased need to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A cruise-type ride welcoming cars, trucks and motorcycles will be held Oct. 24 to benefit food pantries in Nesquehoning, Summit Hill and Lansford, said organizer Robert Sieputowski.

Through the pandemic, food lines at the pantries have been getting longer and supplies are shorter, he said.

“We’re asking for a donation of $25 for each vehicle participating,” Sieputowski said, adding that it seemed like an amount that most could afford.

Checks should be made out to Shepherd House, which supplies the Panther Valley’s food pantries with the food for their distributions. Cash will also be accepted and all funding goes to the pantries, he said.

“People are losing jobs and they can’t afford as much as they need,” Sieputowski said. “We’re just trying to be a help.”

Carbon County Commissioner Rocky Ahner said Monday the total meals served by Shepherd House pantries increased from 15,318 in August to 17,757 in September.

That’s an increase of 2,439 meals, he said.

Shepherd House served 899 adults, 531 children and 543 elderly people in September and the total number of households served increased from 675 in August to 779 in September, Ahner said.

“Anticipating an increase for the winter, there’s always a need for food throughout the county,” Ahner said, thanking Sieputowski for the generous offer through the fundraiser.

Registration will start at 8 a.m. and the benefit ride/car cruise will leave the Nesquehoning Fire Company at 10 a.m., he said.

The Carbon County Navy Club will lead the benefit ride/car cruise, which goes through New Columbus, Lansford and ends at GAR Cemetery on Pike Street in Summit Hill, Sieputowski said.