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Food Summit

A special meeting was held on Friday termed a “Food Summit” where Experts considered new alternatives in meeting the need as the demand for help increases nationally. Its a story we’ve been constantly updating — the increase in those needing help in acquiring basic food supplies. Whether its nationwide or closer to home.

Sam Chasin of the YMCA of the USA saying: “Typically we serve 22 Million meals and snacks a year. In the first six months of the Pandemic, we served right around 40 Million meals.”

Allayn Beck of the State College Food Bank saying: “I would say consistently since the start of 2022 our numbers have just gone up everyday. The last time we calculated, it was a 40% increase since the beginning of the year til the end of Summer.”

Add Inflation, or a host of other possible reasons — and the need is ever growing. Beck adding: “Were also seeing in State College a lot of Refugee families. State College is a Sanctuary City. We have a couple of churches hosting families.” They were among those gathered Friday for a brainstorming session organized by the YMCA’s Anti-Hunger Program.

The Pandemic not only added more food insecurity clients, it changed the rules for eligibility and other criteria. Chasin adding: “So now were kinda looking back at the drawing board and saying what fundamental things have we learned. We don’t want these programs to go away.”

The emphasis here on helping individual communities develop more self-sustaining programs with local roots, and less Government assistance while helping each other. Beck, in closing: “We recognize we can’t feed every single person in Centre County that needs help, but we can work with other programs and families in their communities.”

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