HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Feeding Pennsylvania and the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank work to end hunger statewide and here in the Midstate.

Feeding Pennsylvania has been busy this year. “In a typical year, we serve around two million people but throughout the pandemic and the first three months, we served over five and a half million people,” Corrin Foster of Feeding Pennsylvania said.

With the help of its nine-member food banks across the state, “we partner together collaboratively on different things like programming such as the health pantry initiative, agricultural partnerships, we advocate for federal and state efforts,” Foster said.

It’s a 365-day job, but September is hunger action month. “It’s the time of year that food banks all across join together to help raise awareness for hunger issues facing their communities,” Jennifer Sands of the Central Pa. Food Bank said.

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The theme for this year is food shouldn’t be an impossible choice. “Over the course of the pandemic, even before the pandemic, and especially now, we’ve seen families, individuals, parents, make really hard choices between food or paying for basic necessities such as housing, medical expenses,” Sands said.

Central Pennsylvania Food Bank says hunger was high once the pandemic started and is expecting it to be in high demand for the next two years.

“We’re asking you how you will help end hunger this September,” Sands said. By learning and committing. “By committing to help us, you will be making a donation or volunteering here at the food bank.” And speak up, “Talk to your local representatives about the ways in which hunger affects the community and what they can do to vote for programs that help us end hunger.”

“Hunger is a need in our community 365 days a year and September is an important time to focus on it but don’t stop there,” Sands said.