We’re nourishing our community
“Even though we live in garden spot in the country, hunger is very prevalent in the Susquehanna Valley, as it is around the country,” Joe Arthur, the Executive Director of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, explains. In cooperation with 700 community partners throughout the Susquehanna Valley, they are able to serve about 46,000 people each week who face hunger in their lives.
The mission statement of the Central PA Food Bank is “Fighting hunger, improving lives, and strengthening communities.” And, they’re doing just that with a variety of programs that meet the unique needs of hungry people in the community.
Fresh greens at the Central PA Food Bank.
Arthur says, “We’re actually a vital part of nutrition in the community. We’re engaged in a huge project right now to ramp up the amount of fresh produce that we provide. And, if it wasn’t for us providing produce, many clients wouldn’t be able to obtain fresh fruits and vegetables.” He says that it’s simply too expensive for people to purchase fresh produce normally, but he’s proud that they’re able to provide it free of charge.
Providing access is the way that they’re fighting hunger at the Food Bank. “We use a concept called ‘foods to encourage.’ So we’re trying to provide more and more access and then help make the right decisions rather than be punitive,” Arthur explains.
The program has been a success on many levels. Not only does the fresh produce offer nutritious options for people, it also helps to reduce food waste in the community.
“Each time we do a distribution, it’s gone. People take it and they’re using it. Rather than going to waste in fields, it’s being used by people in need.”
Arthur adds, “It’s particularly rewarding to see the movement to better health and we’re very excited to be part of that movement.”
Visit the Central PA Food Bank websiteto find out how you can get involved in fighting hunger.
Learn more about how the Food Bank is nourishing a community in the video below: