On Tuesday, September 24, 2013, the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank will hold a first of its kind event in the area. The Can Hunger event, part of September’s Hunger Action Month activities, has a goal of collecting more than a ton of canned goods, and lining Harrisburg’s State Street and up the steps of the state capitol, with the donations. Local business, organizations and individuals are encouraged to donate non-perishable canned goods along State Street, between Front and Third Streets, on Sept. 24 between noon and 4 p.m.
The purpose of the Can Hunger event is to prepare the Food Bank for the very busy holiday season. Replenishing supplies and the donations received during the event will be critical to meeting the need existing in the community. Items that are requested are the basic food items you’d buy for your family – peanut butter, canned beans, tuna, soups, stews and canned fruits and vegetables.
Harrisburg-area businesses and organizations that are sponsoring the Can Hunger event are PSECU, Pavone, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Grace United Methodist Church, Pine Street Presbyterian Church, and Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney. Each sponsor is responsible for filling a section of State Street with cans, and additional space is reserved for the public to drop off their donations. Collection barrels will be along the street for easy drop-off of donations. All the food collected will be distributed the Food Bank’s network of more than 800 community partners throughout central PA.
“The food that will be collected on September 24 will look like a lot of food,” stated Joe Arthur, executive director of the Food Bank. “In reality it isn’t much. This food will be off our shelves within weeks to meet the ever-increasing needs of our neighbors that are struggling with hunger.”
361,970 people – or 12.3 percent of the population - in central Pennsylvania are food insecure, meaning that they don’t always know where they will find their next meal, according to research conducted by Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization. The findings result from Feeding America’s “Map the Meal Gap” study, which provides estimates on the rate of food insecurity at the county and congressional district level for the entire nation. Central Pennsylvania Food Bank is part of the Feeding America network.
A press conference will be held on the Capitol steps at 4 p.m. with State Senator Mike Brubaker, Chair of the Legislative Hunger Caucus, Central Pennsylvania Food Bank Executive Director Joe Arthur and Feeding Pennsylvania Executive Director Caryn Long all present to discuss hunger in central PA.