Brenda Ruby, Communications Chair of Altrusa International of Centre County
AGENCY: Altrusa International of Centre County
Oh say, can you see? Summertime is picnic time, but while many of us in Centre County are grilling out and preparing more food than we can possibly eat, others are suffering from food insecurity, or the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. On Saturday June 26 from 11AM to 4PM, Altrusa International of Centre County will be collecting food and money donations at two Weis Markets -- the one on South Atherton in State College and the one on Buckaroo Lane in Bellefonte -- for our local food banks.
Last year they collected more than 420 pounds of food, over $600 in monetary donations, and a whole carload of dog and cat food and other pet supplies. This year, after more than a year of pandemic restrictions and unemployment, the food banks need our help more than ever. When you take a family living paycheck to paycheck, then throw in a pandemic, you have the perfect recipe for increased food insecurity. With businesses closed, layoffs, and sheltering in place active for so long, many families that were “getting by” before needed extra help, leading to an increase in food bank usage. The food banks’ supplies need to be replenished. In addition, members of our community struggle to keep their pets well nourished.
With Independence Day so close, the “Patriotic Picnic” theme enables each and every one of us to earn our stripes and be the stars in our attempt to curb hunger. Altrusa is collecting more than navy beans. An army of supporters can keep the food supply numbers above water and airborne – it’s the Ameri-Can way. The Food Bank has requested condiments of all kinds as well as jelly and jam (they have plenty of peanut butter), chips and pretzels, condensed chicken soup, spaghetti, canned fruit, lemonade mix, laundry detergent, and dish and hand soap. Pet supplies (food, treats, leashes, food and water dishes, etc.) are also being flagged for our allies, the Faith Center Pet Food Pantry and Centre County PAWS.
This Saturday, look for the Patriotic Picnic tables at Weis Markets, and pledge allegiance to the food drive. Altrusa is dedicated to the proposition that everyone deserves food, whether they are red, white, or blue. If you plan to give to the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to be fed and looking for a few good meals, thank you in advance for your (food) service; Altrusa wants YOU to go Fourth and give, and help make this a banner year for the food banks.