Jessup nonprofit holding food drive

Jessup 21st Century Association is hoping an event Saturday will help hungry neighbors.

After learning that the Jessup Bread Basket’s shelves are almost bare because of the increased need in the community, the nonprofit decided to organize a food drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Station Park. Volunteers and donors should wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines.

Bev Lepri, who runs the Jessup Bread Basket, said her program hands out 20 bags of food to families every Wednesday. They also answer emergency requests from community members.

Canned goods, especially soup, sauce and tuna, as well as peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, cereal and macaroni and cheese are among the items needed for the Bread Basket, according to Lepri and Jessup 21st Century Association. The group also asks for gift certificates to local grocery stores. To donate money, make a check out to Jessup Bread Basket and mail it to Jessup 21st Century Association, PO Box 21, Jessup, PA 18434.

Friendship House welcomes new doctors

Friendship House, a regional nonprofit public mental health and autism provider based in Scranton and Mayfield, expanded its medical team and psychiatry services with the addition of Marwa Salam, MD and Nelson Asante, MD.

Salam and Asante join Varsha Pandya, MD, Ann McDonald, MD, Maria Murnock, PA-C, Carlene Spitzer, PA-C, and Marcy Smith, CRNP on the medical team.

“As one of the leading comprehensive mental health providers in Northeastern and Northcentral Pennsylvania, we are absolutely thrilled to welcome Drs. Salam and Asante on board at Friendship House,” Friendship House President and Chief Executive Officer Alex J. Hazzouri said in an email. “Dr. Salam is a champion for children and adolescents facing a wide variety of mental health challenges. Dr. Salam brings her impressive array of clinical specialties to our already exceptional medical team. Dr. Asante has over three decades of experience specializing in providing psychiatry to older adolescents and adults.”

Salam joined Friendship House in August and is board certified in both adult general psychiatry and child/adolescent psychiatry, her focus specialty. She completed her medical training at Egypt Medical School before joining New York University’s Langone Medical Center Alzheimer’s Research Program. She completed her general psychiatry residency at Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, New York, and fulfilled her child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Rutgers University New Jersey Medical School. Salam serves as the President-Elect of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society. She became a staff psychiatrist at Scranton Counseling Center following her postdoctoral training in 2018.

Asante joined Friendship House in March and was previously a staff psychiatrist at Scranton Counseling Center. After graduating from the University of Ghana Medical School, he completed his residency training in psychiatry and a fellowship in neuropsychiatry at Yale University Affiliated Hospitals. Asante is board certified in both adult psychiatry and addiction medicine. His clinical interests include, but are not limited to, managing treatment-resistant schizophrenics, using the assertive community treatment team model, and evaluating Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Leadership Lackawanna looking for project opportunities

Area nonprofits are invited to submit a request for proposal to Leadership Lackawanna for implementation as a class community service project.

The Leadership Lackawanna organization will select multiple projects for the incoming class to work on throughout the program year, which lasts from October 2020 through June 2021. This year marks the 38th year of the Leadership organization.

Submitting an RFP is an opportunity to use the services of a talented team of professionals. The group can help with a project the group had in mind, but lacked the human resources to accomplish. At the same time, the project can expose a group of established and emerging leaders to the applicant organization’s mission and goals.

Projects must have a reasonable scope and budget and cannot include capital campaigns, rebranding/branding/marketing campaigns or raising large sums of money. Due to the recent pandemic, projects submitted for the upcoming year must have flexibility. All planning must be virtual and implementation must have an outdoor component.

For more information on submitting a proposal to Leadership Lackawanna, visit Questions can be sent to Leadership Lackawanna Executive Director, Nicole Morristell at 570-342-7711 or The deadline to submit is Sept. 24.

Virtual beer festival on tap

Consider it another victim of the coronavirus pandemic: craft beer festivals.

But craft beer fans have a new way to sample new brews without leaving the house.

BEER FEST2U 2020 debuts on Oct. 24 with a virtual event for beer enthusiasts all over the state. Festival participants will receive a BeerFest Box delivered right to their door, featuring 24 limited-edition, select craft beers to sample during a live-streamed, interactive event.

The livestream, which will take place between 4 and 6 p.m., will feature brewmasters from participating craft breweries, guided tastings, and interactive talkbacks, giving beer fans a front row seat into the making of these limited-edition brews. Live band performances, special celebrity guests, and an after-party will continue the festivities at 6 p.m.

“We could all use a little laughter and fun right now,” says Michelle Dangelo Arnoni, founder of Beverages2U and co-founder of the event. “Our hearts truly go out to the entire service industry that has been so extremely hurt by this pandemic. We’re donating a portion of the proceeds from BEER FEST2U to the Restaurant and Food Service Relief Fund.”

Tickets to BEER FEST2U are available via and includes shipping and delivery of the official BeerFest Box with 24 craft beers, as well as access to the interactive festival. Tickets are $99 each. Packages are available for $350 that includes four tasting sets (96 bottles total), delivered to one address for socially distant gatherings. You must be 21 to register.

Recommended for you