Stacey. Stephanie. Karen.

These are just three of the thousands of individuals that benefit from the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank’s partnership with more than 1,000 agencies and programs across 27-counties.  They regularly visit the food pantry on the grounds of a local elementary school in Harrisburg.  Their backgrounds and stories are varied, but their reasons for using the food pantry are similar.  They use it so that they don’t have to make a choice between paying for food or paying for medication.  Using it allows them to pay their monthly expenses and still make sure their children have food on the table.

Stacey is a teacher at the elementary school.  She recently went through some life changes and decided to become a teacher.  Between her bills, school loans, and caring for an adult daughter with autism, Stacey found herself struggling to pay for food.  Other teachers at the school recommended she try the food pantry.  “It’s been life-changing.  I don’t have to worry about meals.  I’m also not being deprived – the food pantry allows me to get the things that are too expensive for me to buy.  The produce and the choice of meat is a huge help.  So are the staple items that are available.”

Stephanie has been using the food pantry for a year after retiring due to health concerns. The monthly check she receives doesn’t stretch and allow her to pay all her bills and purchase food.  She learned about the food pantry while attending a local book fair, and has been visiting ever since.  She likes the selection of fresh food and appreciates that there is always something different.  “This is a wonderful thing to have available.”

Karen got sick and ended up on social security and disability.  With four children at home, she wasn’t able to make ends meet when she learned about the pantry.  “This is a great thing to have, I don’t have to worry if my kids are going to be hungry.”  Karen and her family enjoy the food they receive and appreciate that they can pick out what they want and need.  It helps them not have to choose between purchasing food and paying their bills.

Partnerships like the ones we have with Walmart and Sam’s Club allow us to provide enough food so that these clients don’t have to worry about making tough choices.  #FightHunger #NoOneShouldBeHungry