The State College Food Bank is going public with its multi-million-dollar fundraising campaign.
Officials say one goal is to open a more “client-based” grocery store.
The numbers can be staggering in terms of those struggling to get a decent meal.
The Feeding America organization says over a million Pennsylvania residents face what’s termed food insecurity.
“Our numbers are going up quite a bit from last year. We’ve seen about a 40% increase. That equates to over a thousand individuals a month we are serving.”
At the State College food bank, like many food banks, the clients in need are a cross section of community members.
“Four person families, mom, dad, two kids, unemployed individuals; we have people working three jobs to make ends meet.”
Pandemic era problems getting food have eased a bit, but the demand remains a factor.
“The food supply chain has gotten better since the pandemic, but because we are serving more individuals, we are going through food faster.”
Another semi-staggering number is three million dollars. That’s the fundraising goal for the State College food bank’s new capital campaign.
Work has already begun on moving to a larger building that will also serve as a supply hub for other agencies, and better serve clients.
“We will have a very large client choice pantry, which is the best model for distributing food. It cuts down on food waste and it breaks down stigmas. It will basically be a grocery store for people to come and shop.”
Two thirds of the three-million-dollar fundraising goal is already secured.
It also helps secure plans for the food bank to open its new home next spring.