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Did you now that nearly 1 in 10 Bucks County residents are classified as food insecure, according to data from Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap project? That’s 50,000 county residents – including 16,640 children!

To help those in need in our neighborhoods, this year Penn Community Bank is partnering with the Bucks County Opportunity Council to host our annual Feed-a-Neighbor food drive… with one important twist.

In addition to collecting non-perishable food items, this year we are accepting cash donations to assist area food pantries in purchasing fresh, healthy foods often unavailable including produce, meats and dairy products.  To make a cash donation online, just click the button below!  Additionally, in support of Feed-a-Neighbor 2018’s new goal, the bank’s charitable arm - Penn Community Foundation - is matching every cash donation dollar for dollar, up to $5,000 - effectively doubling the impact of each donation!

 

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Blog: Combating Food Insecurity with Fresh Food, Fresh Ideas

By: Todd R. Hurley, Chief Relationship Officer/Executive Director, Penn Community Foundation.

 

During one recent evening at the Pennridge FISH food pantry, volunteers distributed one bag of carrots and three apples each to the families coming through for food assistance. However, it didn’t take long for the fresh produce to run out, leaving many families without these nutritious - but perishable - items.

Sadly, this scene is often the case when it comes to fresh food distributed to food insecure people across Bucks County; traditional donations often do not meet the need, leaving many families and their children without reliable access to fresh, healthy vegetables and fruits, lean meats and dairy products.

But at Penn Community Bank, we are trying to change that by rethinking our annual food drive.

Read more…

 

Cash, Not Cans

Cash donations enable Bucks County’s food pantry network to buy badly needed perishable foods, such as eggs, dairy, beef, poultry, and fruits and vegetables, which are difficult to accept during traditional food drives. Moreover, cash is more economical, as area pantries work with county-wide organizations to increase their buying power. The University of Pennsylvania's Center for High Impact Philanthropy estimates that food banks can provide meals for a family of four for as little as $11 to $30 per week, versus the $128 to $294 retail cost estimated by the USDA.

All money raised during our Feed-a-Neighbor food drive will be donated to Bucks County Opportunity Council, the lead local agency coordinating food donations to more than 60 pantries across Bucks County. A $1 donation usually can provide two meals to help feed those in need, according to the Opportunity Council, but during our Feed-A-Neighbor campaign, $1 will provide four meals, thanks to the matching donation from Penn Community Foundation.  And those meals are badly needed.

 

Top 5 Ways to Help

Here are five ways you can help support efforts fill Bucks County’s pantry shelves with healthier food:

  • Donate cash instead of cans. University of Pennsylvania's Center for High Impact Philanthropy estimates that food banks can provide meals for a family of four for as little as $11 to $30 per week, versus the $128 to $294 retail cost estimated by the USDA.

  • Double your impact. Stop in to any Penn Community Bank branch location between Nov. 12 and Dec. 15 to contribute to the annual Feed-a-Neighbor Food Drive. When you make a cash donation, the Penn Community Foundation will match it, dollar for dollar, up to $5,000.

  • Choose healthier options. If you are hosting or donating to a food drive, choose healthier options, such as peanut butter, canned tuna or meat, cooking oil, oatmeal, rice, or 100% juices.

  • Plant a garden or volunteer at a community garden. Many area churches grow a community garden and donate the produce to local food pantries.

  • Volunteer with local organizations. Check out http://www.bcoc.org/join-us/volunteer/ to learn how you can get involved.

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