Our Food Bank Supports the Food-Insecure in Harrisburg, PA
At Blessings of Hope, it’s our mission to help fight world hunger. And that starts right here in our backyard.
Since 2006, our team of over 3,700 registered volunteers has worked with regional food banks, food ministries, local businesses, and others to help efficiently make use of excess food in our communities. On average, we distribute over 66,000 meals per day to local families in order to help feed the hungry. And that’s just the beginning.
30% of Harrisburg City Residents are Food Insecure
Poverty and food insecurity tend to go hand-in-hand. Of the 40 million people in the United States living below the poverty line in 2017, every 1 in 8 had limited access to food due to a lack of adequate income.
If we zoom in on the statistics for our state’s capital, 29.9% of Harrisburg’s residents (or approximately 14,700) are considered to be living below the poverty line and could be potentially struggling with food security. The worst part? That number is 13.1% higher than the national average.
Reaching Out to Our Neighbors
While Blessings of Hope mostly services Lancaster County today, our goal is to continue to provide outreach to our neighbors in need—specifically those in Harrisburg. For comparison, Lancaster City’s poverty rate has gone down to 26.5% over the last few years. And while Blessings of Hope will keep working to lower that number even further, we also want to extend the Lord’s blessing to those who need it most.
As we continue to grow, Blessings of Hope will continue to empower families and individuals by distributing manageable portions of food to nearby food ministries. With your help, we hope to continue to take excess food that normally would go to landfills and put it into the hands and stomachs of those that need it most.
What is Food Insecurity, and Who is Most Affected?
As we mentioned earlier, food insecurity affects families most who are below the income poverty line. But food insecurity isn’t as simple as just being hungry—it’s about not having access to the basic needs that our Lord intended us to have.
From a more technical standpoint, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) categorizes food insecurity into four different levels. The two topmost levels are considered food secure and are defined as “high” and “marginal.” This means that these families have had zero to two reported incidents of issues with accessing food, or very minimal concern over food shortages in their homes.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have the food insecure families, which are defined as “low” or “very low.” Families are put into these categories when they’ve had a reduction in the quality or quantity of food available to them due to income. Those that are considered to have “very low” food insecurity were previously defined as “food insecure with hunger.”
In 2018, there were over 1.4 million people considered food insecure, and almost 400,000 of those people were children. In Dauphin County alone, there were over 9,000 children that were food insecure, which is why we’re looking to extend our efforts to Harrisburg, PA.
5 Things You Can Do to Help the Hungry
- Donate to food organizations like Blessings of Hope that help put food into hungry hands.
- Look for opportunities to volunteer for a more hands-on approach.
- Keep food from going to waste through donations to local food banks or distribution areas.
- Organize a food drive through your church, youth group, or business—we can help!
- Purchase food boxes and deliver them to a neighbor in need.
Breaking the Cycle of Food Insecurity: What You Can Do
Whether you’re in Lancaster, Harrisburg, or anywhere else in the United States, there’s always something you can do to help break the cycle of food insecurity. While we have a few tried and true methods listed here already, in the long run, educating the public on food insecurity is vital. Take the time to check out some of the informative resources we have available here on our website to see what more you can do to break the cycle.
We’re Here to Help Feed the Hungry in Harrisburg
At Blessings of Hope, we are proud to have over 80 relationships with food producers and distributors in the Pennsylvania region. As a result, our goal is to extend our reach to our neighbors that most need our help.
With the help of the available food banks in Harrisburg, PA, and your generous donations, we will all work together to feed the hungry.
“As I left Blessings of Hope that day, I smiled with God, for I would have never thought that was his plan for me that day!” —Jane Shirk
At Blessings of Hope, we’re privileged to be part of the success stories of people all over our great community. Sharing these stories energizes our mission, shining a light of hope that fuels many more acts of kindness.