Editor’s Note: On the first Thursday of each month we highlight the mission focus for the month. In October we’re lifting up the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. You can always find the current month’s mission focus in the Joys & Concerns section of the weekly eNews.
At the onset of the pandemic Derry’s Mission & Peace Committee sent $10,000 to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank (CPFB) because we were concerned that they were going to need to feed many more people than they were prior to COVID-19. Unfortunately, we were correct. September CPFB data shows that “Unemployment and poverty in our 27 counties are at record highs; every community faces economic uncertainty. To get a sense of the situation: all 27 counties have food insecurity rates of 13% or above. Pre COVID-19, there were three.”
CPFB tells us that since March they have distributed over 200,000 crisis response food boxes, packing them at the Farm Show so that they can be filled in a socially distanced setting. They have also distributed bags of produce, dairy and meat to partner agencies, at no cost. They have distributed 35 million pounds of food, equivalent to 875 tractor trailer loads.
CPFB works with their 1,000 partners to distribute food safely and they have made new partners for areas that are in need. Currently they are serving 200,000 people a month, which is 65,000 more people than usual. Those being server are people who were on the edge before COVID, people who had contracted COVID-19, people who lost their jobs or were furloughed, seniors who were homebound and children who no longer had meals provided during the school day.
Thank you to the people of Derry Church who support our mission committee so that we in turn can quickly respond to an unexpected situation like COVID-19.