HARRISBURG – The nation’s largest charitable food organization, Feeding America, recognizes each September as Hunger Action Month in communities across the country, and we’re doing that here in Pennsylvania as well.
According to Feeding Pennsylvania, nearly 2 million Pennsylvanians – or one in nine – are struggling with hunger and of that population, 500,000 are children. Making matters more difficult, the charitable food network across the commonwealth has seen an unprecedented rise in need due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn now affecting every Pennsylvanian.
Hunger touches every corner of the commonwealth and exists in every community, whether we see it or not, and our local food banks, which serve all 67 of our counties by distributing more than 164 million pounds of food, remain in constant need of our help.
At the state Capitol, for 12 seasons now from the spring through the fall, the 1,000-square-foot Capitol Hunger Garden has been producing hundreds of pounds of fresh produce that is donated to Harrisburg’s Downtown Daily Bread, which takes those donations into their kitchen to provide healthy meals to many in the Harrisburg area. Last year, 849 pounds of produce was harvested from the garden, and we’re hoping for a similar bounty by the time the growing season ends this year.
But much more can be done, and by recognizing the month of September as Hunger Action Month, we’re highlighting the need for citizens and businesses to donate both time and resources to assist food banks in their mission to ensure no family suffers from food insecurity.
I’m asking for everyone who can to donate what non-perishable items they can to their local food banks.
Folks in the state Capitol Building who would like to donate can bring their donation to my office in Room 362 of the Main Capitol Building, with the collected donations to be given to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.
Our legislative district offices are also collecting donations from anyone who wishes to give, with those collections to be given to local food banks in our communities.
The donation period will run from Sept. 1 through Sept. 30, and in October, there will be a press conference to publicly announce what was collected and donated to food banks across the state.
Things are not getting any easier for anyone, particularly as we approach the winter months, which reinforces the need to continue to support charitable food organizations who are best equipped to address food insecurity and hunger at the local level.
I am thankful for those who have supported and continue to support efforts to eliminate hunger by donating food, money and volunteer work, and I encourage everyone to do what they can to help families in need.
CONTACT: Heather Burke email@example.com