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York County Food Bank

To end hunger in York County by working with partners to increase quantity & access to healthy food.

In York, hunger takes many forms. It can happen to individuals or families. It can be ongoing or periodic. It is not limited to any particular neighborhood or group of people. Many residents of York County must make the difficult decision between food & other necessities such as rent, medicine, or gas. Such choices represent the daily reality of hunger for more than 55,000 people in our county. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw a 400% increase in demand. Hunger and poverty are directly correlated, and food insecurity is often experienced by those who fall below the poverty threshold. 10.4% of York County residents live in poverty; 15.3% of children ages 5 to 17 live in poverty, & 51% of children in York City live below the poverty threshold. More than 9 million meals are needed each year to ensure that everyone in York County has access to 3 nutritious meals each day. This need translates to more than $25 million annually.

The Food Bank is a central hub of distribution for our Food Security Network, through which we solicit, store, and distribute large quantities of various food items to redistribute to our 125 local partner agencies. Additionally, we maintain several direct client service programs that distribute fresh, healthy food to anyone who is in need. At this time, COVID-19 has led us to alter our services; we are now holding a once-weekly mass distribution that follows social distancing guidelines by acting as a drive-thru, serving hundreds of households each week. Since this distribution began in March 2020, there have been over 6,000 households that have received food. A note of interest is that as of April 2021 there are still NEW households registering each week. Based on these factors we feel the need for food in York County is continuing and will be for months to come. The $25,000 would help us continue our food distribution efforts in York County to assist those who are food insecure.

Many of the county’s food insecure residents are also members of the most vulnerable sectors of our population. Around 18,000 children and 3,000 senior adults experience food insecurity in York County. Many students who receive free breakfast and lunch at school go hungry on weekends and holidays, as well as during the summer, because of their family’s reliance on school meal programs. Families and individuals experiencing food insecurity are often forced to purchase less nutritious, over-processed food items as these options are less expensive and easily attainable. Without affordable, healthy food choices, individuals experience poorer overall health, including developmental complications in children, poor academic or professional/work performance, and obesity. This grant would not only provide hope and encouragement to those who are in need of food, but also have a lasting effect on the health and well-being of our community.