Incomes got a bump, consumer spending is up, but the number of people with empty plates isn’t going down.
Food insecurity while working is real.
“Almost 60 percent of the clients that rely on the food bank food assistance live in a working family household. Hunger can impact anybody,” said Joe Arthur, executive director of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.
Clients like Lacy Piper from Adams County get healthy food for their families through the food bank’s relationship with New Hope Ministries.
“We’ve got green peppers, corn on the cob,” Piper said. “It means everything. I was able to feed my children. There were times that I thought I couldn’t and they saved us.”
Central Pennsylvania Food Bank feeds a lot of young people in need.
“About a third of the people relying on our food service are children. It’s really a big part of our mission here,” Arthur said.
The food bank’s mission takes the burden off Piper. She knows she won’t have to decide between paying her rent or feeding her kids.
“Having things to send to school for lunch with my son and just knowing I’ll have dinner at night,” Piper said.
“We’re providing healthy food. So when you help the food bank, you are not only helping your neighbors, you are helping them to eat good food. That’s a big focus of ours,” Arthur said.
“It’s incredible and it’s such a relief it’s a blessing and it helps tremendously, not just me but it helps other people, too. So it’s not just a blessing to me, it’s a blessing to other people,” Piper said.
The food bank also has a summer feeding program to make sure children in low-income families get three meals a day when schools are closed for break.
If you would like to volunteer by packing meals or to donate, visit the food bank’s website.