Second Harvest Food Bank launches matching donation program

The Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania is taking a stand against childhood hunger with an opportunity to provide for hungry children in Warren County. As a regional food bank, Second Harvest provides grocery products to 11 counties in northwest Pennsylvania, including Warren County. In collaboration with the Warren County School District, Second Harvest has started pilot programs at Allegheny Valley Elementary School and Youngsville Elementary School. Second Harvest is making a commitment to match every monetary gift made in Warren County for The BackPack Program from now through May 30, up to $20,000. The goal is to provide this important feeding program at all Warren County elementary schools by the fall of 2014.

The matching funds were mainly generated from a single donor contribution and will serve as an incentive for local donations for the child feeding program.

The BackPack Program provides needy children with nutritious, child-friendly food when other resources, such as school lunches and after-school meals or snacks, are not available. Eligible students who sign up for the BackPack Program will receive at least eight items of food to take home on Fridays for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A donation of $128 will provide a child with a BackPack throughout the school year.

Why is this program so important?

“There are 965 children who are currently eligible to receive a BackPack in the Warren area,” said Karen Seggi, Executive Director of the Second Harvest Food Bank of NW PA. “We want to help as many children as we can and The BackPack Program has received a positive response from the Warren community thanks to the efforts of two pilot programs that were started in the Warren School District. Thank you to Rev. Ricky Nelson and Rev. Dennis Johnson, two program supporters who are committed to making our communities a better place to live, starting with the issues of childhood hunger.”

Church congregations making up the Sheffield Area Ecumenical Food Pantry and the Youngsville Ministerium Food Pantry have been working tirelessly to fundraise and support this important program, while also trying to continue in all other essential charity work. The Second Harvest Food Bank applauds these churches for such diligent efforts and will now spearhead the challenge to address the issue of hungry children in Warren County. With continued support from the Warren Community, Second Harvest and strong partners like the Warren School District will team up to ensure that no child goes to bed hungry in the Warren region.

All donations can be mailed to: Second Harvest Food Bank of NWPA, 1507 Grimm Dr., Erie, Pa. 16501. Note that your donation is for the Warren BackPack Program. All donations made in Warren will support the Warren County BackPack Program. For more information, contact Cindy Plymyer, program coordinator, at (814) 459-3663, ext. 103.

Second Harvest is the major supplier of food to a network of 285 member charitable agencies who obtain products from our warehouse and then give the items to individuals and families who otherwise would not have enough food on their tables. Our member agencies which include food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, Kids Cafes and other nonprofit organizations receive products distributed from our warehouse. Last year, Second Harvest distributed 11.6 million pounds of food to 72,600 people in need.