October 17, 2017 - ERIE, Pa - With the cold winter approaching, one organizations helping the less fortunate in our community is the Northwest Pennsylvania Second Harvest Food Bank.
This month, they're commemorating 35 years of service to 11 counties throughout our region. It's perfect timing, as this week also marks "National Food Bank Week".
The fall is a great time to start thinking about helping others in the community as the holiday season is nearing. Additionally, the need of others is greater than ever.
From delivering 450,000 lbs of food, to 13 million lbs of food, the local Northwest Pennsylvania Second Harvest Food Bank has grown tremendously in the last 35 years. However, so has the need of local families. The nonprofit organization has developed numerous programs to help combat hunger in our area.
That includes a program that creates "holiday boxes" so families have Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. The Food Bank also saw a major need for "backpack programs," specific to children who may not eat when they're not at school. Produce used to be considered "limited commodities" to families in need, but now the Food Bank has turned providing produce into another successful program.
Zachary Webb, the Development Director at the NWPA Second Harvest Food Bank saying, "Several years ago we started a program called the "Produce Express". We bought a truck, we took it out to the community, and we filled it up with fresh produce and fresh vegetables, and basically just opened the doors and said come and get 25-50 lbs of food. Since then, it's expanded to now we have over 350 "Produce Express" distributions and we've also expanded it now to include military families themselves. So we have specific Produce Expresses that go out just for those that served in the military."
Through the "Produce Express" program, the Food Bank has delivered 1.8 million lbs of fresh produce to those who are less fortunate in our area.
If you are feeling motivated to become involved with the local food bank, there's three ways to do it:
Donate your time - the Food Bank is always looking for volunteers.
Donate product - the Food Bank will happily accept any non-expired food you may have in your pantry that you're willing to offer up.
Donate money - for every $1.00 the Food Bank receives, they can obtain $17.00 in food.
For more information on the Northwest Pennsylvania Second Harvest Food Bank, check out their website:
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