STATE COLLEGE — The State College Food Bank works hard all year to make sure no one will go hungry in Centre County, and over the holidays it helped more than 300 local families with food for the table.
With the help of many local partners and donations from many around the county, this year the food bank provided a little extra choice to families and individuals for the holidays.
In years past, the food bank offered pre-made bags for Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. This year, a choice was offered to families to come in to pick out the food they would like to serve for the holidays.
Business manager Allayn Beck said offering choices helps create less food waste, because people aren’t receiving things they won’t use and that reduces the stigma of going to the food bank.
“Wouldn’t you want a choice of what you were making?” said Beck. Along with the choices of side items, each family received a turkey for Thanksgiving and a choice between a ham or turkey for Christmas.
Fighting hunger isn’t just a holiday issue at the food bank. While there might be a slight increase of clients during the holidays, the need continues throughout the year. While 2018 stats are still being compiled, in 2017 the food bank helped 694 households throughout the year with a total of 1,585 people receiving distributions. Thirty-two percent of those who received food were children and 19 percent were over 60 years old.
In 2019, the food bank is looking to promote healthy food choices for its clients so that all people can have healthy food options. The food bank, at 1321 South Atherton Street, accepts donations Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Food must not be expired and containers and packages cannot be pre-opened.