AUTHOR: Allayn Beck and Heather Lee
AGENCY: State College Food Bank The State College Food Bank, in partnership with The Faith Centre Food Bank, The State College Downtown Rotary, The Nittany Mall, and Think We not Me, have been hosting a no-cost fresh produce markets for Centre County residents this summer. The next market will take place September 29, from 5-7 pm (or until all of the produce is gone) inside the Nittany Mall.
It is important to the mission of the State College Food Bank that no one goes hungry in Centre County, regardless of income or location. The State College Food Bank has been dreaming of ways to provide more fresh and local produce to everyone in Centre County for many years. This market is a big step in making that dream a reality. The goal of the market has been to provide the community, which is still seeing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with fresh, local produce at no cost.
"We don't want to see families cutting fresh produce from their weekly shopping due to cost-cutting. We hope that by receiving produce from the no-cost market, families will be able to divert funds to other monthly bills, easing their financial burden. We also know that our local business owners have been affected greatly by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Purchasing produce from local farmers like Green Heron Farm and Ardry Farm helps support our local economy while still providing a positive service to our community." Said Heather Lee, State College Food Bank Business Manager.
Everyone involved feels that this is a win-win situation. Individuals and families who have come to the market have received fresh and local produce at no cost, and in turn helped to support our local farming community. Combined, the two previous two events helped over 1,200 individuals from over 400 families. We have learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic that we are stronger together. It is a natural fit that the two Food Banks in Centre County join together, along with other area agencies, to help the entire county.