Central Pennsylvania Food Bank to hold 12th annual Soup and a Bowl fundraiser

PHOTOS PROVIDED The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank will host their 12th annual Soup and a Bowl fundraiser at the Genetti Hotel. Guests will get the chance to enjoy delicious soup, bread and desserts and get a beautiful pottery bowl.

The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, located at 3301 Wahoo Drive, will host their 12th annual Soup and a Bowl fundraiser on March 2 at the Genetti Hotel, 200 W. Fourth St. Due to increased popularity, there will be three seatings at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., all running an hour and a half, with take-out services being offered as well. There will be various soups, including vegetarian selection, made and donated by some of the finest local chefs, restaurants and catering companies, as well as donated bread and desserts.

“All the proceeds from the event will go toward programs of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank — programs that feed families, seniors, children and veterans in each of the 27 counties served by the food bank” said Carla Fisher, marketing and communications coordinator at the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. “For every dollar, we are able to provide six nutritious meals to our neighbors that includes fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products and center of the plate proteins.”

“A simple meal of soup and bread, paired with a take-home pottery bowl are intended to remind those who attend of the historical food offerings at soup kitchens,” Fisher said.

The Soup and a Bowl fundraiser started more than 20 years ago at the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank’s Harrisburg location, 3908 Corey Road, and has grown into two sold-out events per year, at each of the Food Bank’s locations. The demand for food continues to rise. In Pennsylvania, one in nine residents, including one in six children, face food insecurity, according to Feeding America.

The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank began as a demonstration on World Food Day in 1981 that aimed to aid families in need and has grown into the largest non-profit food distribution organization in central Pennsylvania. The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank is part of the Feeding America and Feeding Pennsylvania program and serves 27 counties throughout the state. Since the Williamsport Food Bank’s expansion in December 2016, they have been able to obtain, handle and distribute more local farm products to food insecure neighbors for a lower cost, all while reducing food waste in order to better serve the northern tier. Rural hunger is the most costly due to dispersed populations and limited community programs.

“By working with more than 900 local agencies, the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank provides nearly 650,000 nutritious meals to people in need every week,” said Fisher.

The Food Bank collects donated food, such as produce and non-perishable items, they then sort and package the food at their Healthy Hubs, items are then distributed to their 900 partner agencies such as food pantries, shelters, VFW’s, schools and churches where the food is then given to neighbors in need, whether that be families, veterans, seniors or children.

In 2017, the Food Bank distributed over 55 million pounds of nutritional food. That is the equivalent to 46 million meals, of which 9 million pounds were fresh produce and 1.9 million servings of fresh milk distributed.

Tickets are available in advance, which provide 150 meals to the Food Bank for distribution, and may be purchased by visiting www.centralpafoodbank.org. Sponsorships and in-kind donations are also being accepted.

For more information about the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and how you too can join their mission of fighting hunger, improving lives, strengthening communities, visit centralpafoodbank.org or call the Williamsport Healthy Food Hub at 570-321-8023.