A game changer, that’s how directors at the Centre County YMCA’s anti-hunger program are describing a new state funding grant.
At the headquarters for the program in Philipsburg, a row of boxes of food, just received from Salt Lake City, Utah, demonstrates how far the organization is going to provide basic meal items to those struggling in difficult times.
“It is hard to see a family pull up. Their car may be not in the best of shape; they may be living in their car. To see that, you want to reach out and help them in other ways, other services.”
Other services for this organization include food deliveries, including to rural areas and to those who may have no transportation.
On Thursday, state Representative Scott Conklin presented a $140,000 state grant to the program, money earmarked for their first ever refrigerated food truck.
“To get things to the far end of Centre County, Penns Valley area and to the north, especially during the summer when you have rising temperatures. You can’t take frozen foods out, things like that. So, this is a win-win for us.”
It was in the spring of 2020, the early days of the pandemic, when the anti-hunger program began its stepped-up food distributions.
Since then, through COVID, inflation, and other challenges, the amount of food going to the community is staggering.
“We are over 7-million pounds at this point. And that does not include all the pounds of food for backpacks, summer lunch programs, and things like that.”