Blessings of Hope volunteer loading food at Spooky Nook

How Can Your Central PA Business Help Us Feed the Hungry?

Here at Blessings of Hope, we empower individuals to deliver boxes of food to those in need through our unique Hands of Hope program. But, what if you have an entire group of people who want to help us meet our goal of eradicating hunger in Central Pennsylvania and beyond?

Both individuals and companies alike can make a difference in helping us fight hunger in our shared community—and there are several big ways to get your business involved. Whether your employees are looking for in-person team-building activities that also make a positive impact or they prefer to help in a more “behind the scenes” way, today’s blog post offers several ideas for your team to consider.

Host a Food Distribution at Your Business

Not long after the initial Spring 2020 COVID-19 surge here in the northeastern US, our friends at Spooky Nook Sports delivered 1,080 food boxes to over 900 families through a drive-up food distribution in the company’s parking lot on April 7, 2020. Blessings of Hope supplied the pre-packed boxes, and 30 Spooky Nook Sports team members volunteered to distribute them.

This example of excellent teamwork can be replicated at nearly any local business with a physical location and caring, willing team members. Our Prepackaged Community Food Boxes make things simple—all your team needs to do is plan a time, get the word out, and distribute the food to those in need.

Volunteer as a Group (Great for Team-Building!)

Our CEO David Lapp has said, “Without our dedicated volunteers and generous donors, it would be hard to maximize the blessings that God pours out.” This is true. Blessings of Hope would not be able to feed the hungry if we didn’t have legions of dedicated volunteers to help us.

Did you know that we have over 3,800 registered volunteers, but we’re always looking for caring, hardworking individuals, families, businesses, or church groups to help us spread the gift of Hope in the form of food? Your business could reap the benefits of a stronger team—and attract new employees whose values align with your company’s—when you promote volunteerism and create a culture of caring.

Collect Food and Donate

While holding a canned food drive may seem like a great way to benefit your local food banks, this option for helping to feed the hungry is a little bit outdated. We’re not telling you to cancel your food collection event—especially if you’re working directly with a food pantry in your community that will benefit. However, you should consider all the factors that have shown that monetary donations to food banks and food recovery programs tend to go farther than actual food donations.

For instance, here at Blessings of Hope, we have relationships with over 80 food producers and distributors regionally centered around Lancaster County, PA, which is our food donations source. We actually do not need to obtain food from community can drives to make a hunger-erasing impact!

Before you donate another can or hold another food drive, we encourage you to read this past article on our blog to learn more.

Collect Money and Donate

As we mentioned above, monetary donations can go further than donating food to food banks. There are several reasons for this. First, the buyers at food banks can often get food at wholesale or negotiated price points that are not accessible to consumers. This means a $10 cash donation is more valuable when donated directly to the food bank versus purchasing $10 worth of food as an individual. Additionally, monetary donations don’t involve much handling, which can rack up costs—and they certainly don’t have to be sorted, transported, refrigerated, etc.

If your business wants to help support our mission, but your team doesn’t have time to volunteer or coordinate a food distribution event, taking up a collection to make a monetary gift can also be fulfilling.

Spread Awareness About Hunger in Our Community

It’s true that many people do not realize how pervasive the problem of hunger is in our community—especially since the pandemic hit and has caused workers to lose jobs in record numbers. Feeding America has collected and mapped data for every country in the United States comparing food insecurity numbers in 2018 versus 2020. We are positively trending in the wrong direction at this time, both locally and nationally.

For instance, here in Lancaster County, PA, the 2020 overall food insecurity rate is 12.7%. That’s up from 8.7% in 2018. Dauphin County—where our state capital of Harrisburg is located—was at 10.6% in 2018 and has a 14.9% food insecurity rate now. We are experiencing a hunger emergency and need your help more than ever.

If you do not have the means to support our mission with donations or volunteerism at this time, we also encourage our neighbors and friends to get the word out, so others realize the seriousness of the situation we are in. We encourage you to read our recent blog post about the root causes of hunger and prayerfully consider ways that you can get involved in the fight against poverty, joblessness, and other social problems.

Ready to Get Started, But Have Questions About How to Feed the Hungry?

As we have shown in today’s post, there are many ways for your business or other organization to get involved with helping us share our blessings, feed hungry children and families, and create a brighter future for all.

Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page to get more information or simply contact us to learn more about our mission and how we can help your organization multiply your outreach initiatives. We look forward to connecting with you!