Throughout September, the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank encouraged the community to contribute to its fourth annual Hunger Action Month Virtual Food Drive. To bolster collection efforts, Hunger Action Month Presenting Sponsor PSECU pledged to match the month’s total contributions up to $10,000.
The response – from 675+ local individuals, businesses, and organizations – was commendable, coming in at $52,426.91. This, coupled with PSECU’s $10,000 matching contribution, brings the fundraising total to $62,426.91.
“On behalf of PSECU, I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to the Hunger Action Month Virtual Food Drive this year. Each dollar donated helps the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank provide six meals for those facing food insecurity throughout its 27-county service area. That means that the money we raised will provide 374,561 meals to our neighbors in need,” explained PSECU President and CEO George Rudolph. “Supporting one another’s needs is especially important now, due to difficulties brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you again to all of our generous donors for helping your neighbors during this challenging time.”
Unemployment is at a record high, the cost of food is rising, and as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of families are facing food insecurity – many for the very first time. In central Pennsylvania, one in 20 people are newly food insecure. More than one-third of them are children. Adults age 65 or older are at greater risk of severe complications from COVID-19, so they are urged to stay home. For many, being shut in has complicated their ability to access food.
“We are grateful for the continued support of our friends at PSECU, especially during Hunger Action Month,” said Central Pennsylvania Food Bank Executive Director Joe Arthur. “This has been a challenging year, as demand has increased nearly 50% due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The money raised through the PSECU Virtual Food Drive and its match will help us continue to provide healthy, nutritious meals to thousands of families facing food insecurity in the wake of the crisis, especially as we head into the holiday season.”
A virtual food drive is basically the same food drive concept people have always known – collecting resources for those in need – but with a twist, thanks to smart technology. It is an online initiative through which individuals and groups can visit an interactive grocery store that simulates how monetary donations efficiently purchase food for hungry families, veterans, and seniors. Benefits of the virtual model include time savings for busy donors, no expiration dates on food stock, and a supply of funding that can be deployed as needed throughout the year. Learn more and make a donation year- round at centralpafoodbank.org/psecu.
In addition to its $10,000 virtual food drive matching donation, PSECU provided the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank with a $5,000 sponsorship, bringing the credit union’s total Hunger Action Month contribution to $15,000 – the equivalent of 90,000 meals.