As 2020 comes to a close, most people are probably quite thankful for the fresh start that a new year brings. And while we’re looking ahead and forward to 2021 (more on that later), our Lancaster food bank has a lot to be grateful about.
The Lord blessed us in many ways during 2020, despite some challenges to the economy with shutdowns and food shortages. We graciously thank our supporters, donors, and partners for helping us achieve God’s work to help end hunger. Our programs and partnerships help fight hunger and malnutrition in communities across the country, and here are a few 2020 highlights and what to expect going into 2021.
Blessings by the Numbers
When we say we were truly blessed in 2020, we mean it. This year was the best year we’ve ever had here at Blessings of Hope, distributing over 65 million pounds of food. For comparison, in 2019, we distributed 13.15 million pounds of food, which is approximately a 395.5% increase!
Also, our month to month numbers went up exponentially, which you can see in this visual below:
Growth, Growth, and More Growth
As our small Lancaster food bank has grown into something much larger, we’ve focused a lot on improving our processes of food distribution. In response to that, we purchased a facility in Leola, PA, that offers much more square footage and the ability to house more food.
Thanks to our Growing2Feed Campaign, we’ve been able to raise over half a million dollars so far towards this cold storage expansion! We’re still working out the details, but we’ll be adding a 20,000 square foot expansion that will add a new cooler and freezer space to our facilities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, the Lord has indeed been bountiful in His blessings! But we know, with more space, we can do so much more.
While 2020 has been a challenging year in many respects, we’ve seen a lot of people come together to get food distributed to the hungry. With lost jobs affecting many families across the nation, it was great seeing so many people ready to help support their neighbors. Here are just a few of the other highlights that we saw during 2020:
- In September, Ivanka Trump—eldest daughter to President Donald Trump—toured the Blessings of Hope facility. She was proud of the work we were doing here at our facilities, and it was great that she was able to see our volunteers hard at work.
- Speaking of volunteers, we had so many people helping daily to feed the hungry of Lancaster County and beyond. View a timelapse of one of the days where we packed 1,334 Hands of Hope boxes!
- When the COVID-19 shutdown began in April, the food supply chain suffered major disruptions, causing many people to face food shortages. Blessings of Hope participated in the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box program to help combat that food shortage. From mid-May to the end of 2020, we distributed approximately 1.3 million boxes of food through this program.
Heading Into 2021
As we look forward to a new year and a fresh start, Blessings of Hope wants to continue our positive growth. We’ll keep working on expanding our facilities and finishing the updates we want to make to the new building. But we can’t do that without your help!
While you can certainly help us by volunteering your time and energy to distributing or donating food, we also need monetary support to help keep our facilities running. Your financial support enables us to take the next step in building our state-of-the-art facility that will glorify God and spread hope to families across our community and around the world!
One of the best ways to help is to sponsor a food box to either distribute yourself or have a Blessings of Hope member distribute for you. All of the money sponsored will create 35-40 pound food boxes that get distributed to families in need.
We also suggest checking out our other food assistance programs if your business or ministry would like to help out in any way. With your help and prayers, our small Lancaster food bank has grown and glorifies our Lord by helping those in need. Let’s work together to make 2021 even better!