HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Wolf joined by first lady Frances Wolf and members of his staff spent a part of Wednesday afternoon assembling food boxes at the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank in Harrisburg.
The group was putting together boxes of food that will be distributed through senior centers to provide meals for elderly residents, said Joe Arthur, the food bank's executive director.
“It is a sad reality that too many Pennsylvanians struggle with hunger every day — and it is especially difficult for families and individuals who face this threat during the holiday season," said first lady Frances Wolf. "That's why Tom and I are proud to serve with our partners at the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, who work tirelessly year-round to help meet the basic needs of the communities they serve.”
The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to reduce hunger in 27 counties across Pennsylvania. By working with more than 1,000 local agencies, the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank serves more than 135,000 people in need every month.
Arthur said that while the food bank is always busy, the days leading up to a holiday such as Thanksgiving are particularly hectic.
Speaking to reporters at the food bank, the governor said he hopes Pennsylvanians use the holiday to share time and a holiday meal with their loved ones. Volunteering to help at local pantries or soup kitchens is a meaningful and important way to spend some of the holiday, he added.
“There is a lot of food insecurity,” Wolf said. “There’s still work to be done and no amount of help is too small when it comes to assisting one another,” Wolf said.
Earlier Tuesday, the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank announced that a “virtual food drive” held in September, Hunger Action Month, had raised almost $30,000, enough to provide 175,212 meals.
During a short tour of the food bank’s Harrisburg facility, Arthur said the organization has made it a priority to provide as much fresh produce as possible, to make sure that the meals they provide are as healthy as possible.
More than 50 percent of the food provided by the food bank is fresh or frozen, he said.