Central Pennsylvania Food Bank
The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank has been in operation for more than 30 years. Interestingly, the Food Bank started as a one-day demonstration project on World Food Day in 1981. That event was apparently the impetus to begin the massive and existing operation now based in Harrisburg, PA and they began permanent operation on October 16, 1982.
The Food Bank's rather humble beginnings were in a converted movie theater in Steelton. In 1991, the Food Bank a capital campaign raised $1.5 million allowing the construction of a brand new warehouse. In 1994, the Food Bank relocated to its current facility in Harrisburg. In 2002, a second warehouse was added in Williamsport, Pennsylvania to the north. To meet its growth, the Harrisburg warehouse added a second expansion of 28,000 square feet into their existing warehouse in Harrisburg, PA.
From those humble beginnings, CPFB has grown and now serves 27 hours in Central Pennsylvania from the very north border of Pennsylvania with the State of New York to our south border with Maryland.
The Food Bank distributes to more than 800 partner agencies in their region. Their operations include soliciting donations of funds and food, inventory and then distribution of that food to those agencies. Partner agencies include food banks, soup kitchens, shelters, etc. Each year, CPFB distributes 32 million pounds of food and grocery products--the equivalent of 27 million meals!
How does Gemma's Angels fit in this program?
Part of our mission is providing fresh fruit and vegetables to our agencies. Our role is to simply supplement the work of the Central PA Food Bank, not to replace it. We also provide the small niceties that the agencies sometimes lack or are not able to afford. An example would be the recent purchase of a commercial grade can opener for Interfaith Shelter. The residential styles they were using kept breaking but the cost to buy a commercial type was $60--money that was set aside for food and groceries. We stepped in and bought that for them. We also buy small kitchen equipment including pots, pans, ladles, etc. They may not be significant purchases, but they make the lives of the staff preparing the meals a bit easier--and we can live with that.
Check out the video below of Joe Arthur, CPFB's Executive Director, talking about their new fresh milk distribution program. Central PA Food Bank also has some long-standing fundraising events including Taste of Central Pennsylvania and You can find them on the web at: http://www.centralpafoodbank.org/
Central PA Food Bank serves the following counties:
Adams, Bedford, Blair, Bradford, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Union and York