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THE BREAD BOX

SPRING 2016 NEWSLETTER

Award Winning News Second Harvest Named 4-Star Charity When you make a donation to Second Harvest, you can be assured that your contributions are being used wisely. Second Harvest was recently recognized as a 4-Star Charity for sound fiscal management for the 9th consecutive year. No other nonprofit in our region can claim that status. Of the more than 8,000 charities across the United States that are rated by Charity Navigator, fewer than 1% have achieved 4-star status nine times in a row. In addition, we have also been awarded the title of “TopNotch Charity” six times this fiscal year.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHT:

PRODUCE EXPRESS

Eating fresh fruits and vegetables can be considered a luxury when you are living on a limited income. To help address the lack of fresh food, Second Harvest administers a program called the "Produce Express."

Second Harvest Passes AIB Inspection Second Harvest is also committed to high standards as a facility that maintains a foodsafe processing environment. Recently these efforts were recognized when Second Harvest passed an audit from AIB International with a superior score of 920 out of a possible 1,000. The AIB International Consolidated Standards for Inspection evaluate the adequacy of operational methods and personnel practices, maintenance for food safety, cleaning practices and integrated pest management.

The Produce Express is a unique food distribution program that acts as a food pantry on wheels. Second Harvest is working to encourage the community to eat healthier and to make better nutritional choices by making fresh, healthy produce available to those who would otherwise not have access to it. While much of the produce that is distributed must be purchased, we also receive donated fruits and vegetables from local stores. Each summer Second Harvest welcomes donations of fresh produce from individuals and local farmers who are committed to providing healthy

foods to those who are hungry in our community. Generous neighbors plant gardens and contribute their excess yield, while many local farmers plant crops specifically designated for Second Harvest. When the crops are ready to be harvested, Second Harvest offers volunteers to help “glean” or pick the fresh fruits and vegetables. If you are interested in planting or gleaning crops for Second Harvest, please contact Mariana Skonieczka at 814-459-3663 x 109 or email mskonieczka@nwpafoodbank.org.


PERSPECTIVE

Every year I look forward to May for many reasons: warm weather and flowers, Mother’s Day and the Letter Carriers’ Food Drive. This is the largest food drive of the year for the Second Harvest Food Bank. In 2015, this event brought in nearly 105,000 pounds of groceries for use in our 11-county service area. I hope the total pounds will be even larger this year when you put your bags of groceries out on May 14. I am grateful to all the residents in the community who participate in this event. With your kind hearts, you see the families who depend on you for food to supplement what they are able to purchase. Please know that your bags of groceries – added to your neighbor’s bags, and their neighbor’s bags and on and on – makes a very real difference to families who do not have the means to purchase adequate food for their basic health and well-being.

I am also grateful to the many volunteers who donate their time and energy to this project. Some of these volunteers go out on the day of the food drive to help letter carriers collect the bags of groceries. Neither rain nor wind nor dark and stormy skies deter them. Other volunteers efficiently sort and pack the donated food. Add to the volunteers (and Second Harvest staff ) all the organizations that allow us to use their locations as collection sites, businesses that donate trucks and drivers to pick up food from the collection sites, businesses that donate lunch or snacks for the volunteers, and the letter carriers themselves – and you have all the elements for a well-run and successful community food drive. Warm regards,

Karen S. Seggi, Executive Director

INSIGHT Brandy C. arrives at the Henderson United Methodist Food Pantry in Erie early to help set up for the food distribution for her neighbors in need. With the help of other food pantry volunteers, she organizes and displays the nonperishable food and fresh produce that was picked up from Second Harvest. Food pantry recipients will soon line up outside the church and be led to the basement where a shopping cart awaits to be filled with such food items as fresh apples, cranberries, bagged salads, canned vegetables and meats. After the set-up is complete, Brandy answered a few questions about why she volunteers. “I’m not just a volunteer, but I receive help from the pantry, as well,” she explained. “As a person on disability with a teenager in the house, I need to make my grocery money stretch. If it wasn’t for this food pantry, I don’t know how I would make it. I am so grateful for the help.” Along with Brandy, Irene C. is a volunteer who helps to set up for the food pantry distribution.

“I am a grandmother and I take care of my grandkids… they live with me,” she shared. “The food stamps only go so far and I have to stretch the food out to last the month. This pantry at Henderson is really helping me with food and with friendships.”

If it wasn’t for this food pantry, I don’t know how I would make it. I am so grateful for the help.”

The Henderson United Methodist Food Pantry provides food every other week to approximately 100 families who live in the vicinity.


GRATITUDE Students at three local elementary schools are receiving backpacks of food thanks to a grant from the Norbert H. Hardner Foundation. The Foundation’s $17,280 gift is already hard at work, providing food to 123 students for 32 weekends at Waterford, Robison and Mill Village Elementary Schools in the Fort LeBoeuf School District. Each weekend backpack contains nourishing food for two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners and two snacks. In total, the Norbert H. Hardner Foundation grant is funding 3,936 backpacks for these students during the 2015-2016 academic year. The BackPack Program provides needy children with nutritious, child-friendly food when other resources, such as school lunches and after-school meals, are not available. Backpacks are discreetly distributed to participating children at schools on Fridays. In total, Second Harvest I hate to see any child go hungry, especially in our own distributes backpacks in five counties, eight school community. The Norbert H. Hardner Foundation hopes that districts and to 2,028 children each week. It is this grant will help provide a brighter future for our children. anticipated that nearly 65,000 backpacks will be distributed during the 2015-2016 academic year.

- Rebecca Haverly, Officer, The Norbert H. Hardner Foundation

Second Harvest recognizes and thanks the following strategic partners for their efforts to alleviate hunger in our community:

THANK YOU TO OUR DONORS Check Out Hunger - February 2016 Collected nearly $95,000 Through the Check Out Hunger campaign, customers contributed to Second Harvest by adding a donation to their bill at checkout. All monetary donations benefited Second Harvest. Participating stores included: Wegmans, Tops Friendly Markets and Shur-fine stores.

UPCOMING EVENTS

BUSINESS CHAMPIONS

National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive May 14, 2016 Each year on the second Saturday in May, letter carriers throughout northwest PA join Second Harvest to Stamp out Hunger! The community is asked to contribute nonperishable donations in a sturdy bag and leave by their mailbox early Saturday morning. Letter carriers, volunteers and Boy Scouts will be collecting donations and delivering them to Second Harvest our member agencies in outlying areas. Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community June 4, 2016

Second Harvest participates in the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community at Presque Isle State Park in Erie, PA. Walkers register online to support Second Harvest’s mission of providing food to the hungry. It’s a great way to get exercise while spending time with family and friends. For more information visit: www.walkforahealthycommunity.org.


EDUCATION Have you ever wondered how Second Harvest addresses the problem of hunger in our region? Second Harvest has a variety of programs in place to ensure individuals, families, children and seniors across an eleven county service area have access to food. In addition to the programs below, we provide Produce Express distributions and programs to feed seniors.

Meals Made Easy Through a partnership with the Penn State Co-Op Extension, Second Harvest offers courses for food pantry recipients. Classes educate participants on how to prepare meals that utilize the items they receive from their local pantries. After each class, recipients receive a bag of groceries and new recipes to take home to share with their families.

Food Distribution Second Harvest works with food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and other nonprofits to reach those in need. These agencies visit the warehouse to pick up grocery items to meet their distribution needs.

Fill a Glass with Hope Second Harvest has partnered with Feeding Pennsylvania, agricultural partners and businesses to participate in Pennsylvania’s first statewide charitable milk program. Each $1.00 donated to this program helps Second Harvest provide 5 servings of milk to clients.

BackPack Program Children make up 29% of clients served by Second Harvest. To lessen gaps when school meals are not available to students, Second Harvest provides weekly bags of food to income eligible students at 30 schools throughout the school year. The bags contain wholesome breakfast, lunch and dinner items as well as a snack.

11counties counties 11

442 member 442agencies member agencies

The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) The SFSP ensures that low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. This summer, the USDA plans to serve more than 200 million free meals to children 18 years and under at approved SFSP sites. Second Harvest Food Bank sponsors four Summer Food sites in Erie County: Kingsley Kids Café, Little Italy Kids Café, YMCY of Corry Summer Program, and the Union City Family Support Camp Smiles.

167,700 167,700

13 million 13 million pounds pounds

29% 29%

97 cents 97 cents

NEW WAYS TO GIVE

Now you can help provide meals for those in need by becoming a Full Plate Partner. As a Full Plate Partner you choose to simplify your donations to Second Harvest as monthly, quarterly, semiannually, or annually. Your donations are automatically withdrawn from your financial account and immediately put to work to fund our food programs. We also understand that, as a donor, you are looking for unique opportunities to provide a gift that will provide longterm security to those facing hunger in our society. Did you know you can help those in need by making a planned gift through our Table Setter Society? Planned gifts take many forms including leaving a bequest in your will, adding Second Harvest as a beneficiary of your life insurance, or providing the gift of retirement assets. We welcome the opportunity to discuss with you and your financial adviser solutions that would best match your philanthropic goals. For more information or to become a Full Plate Partner or a member of the Table Setter Society, visit www. nwpafoodbank.org. You can also contact Zachary Webb, development manager at (814) 459-3663 x 114 or via email at zwebb@nwpafoodbank.org.

$1=$17 $1=$17

Give Help Give Help Get Involved Get Involved Get Educated Get Educated www.NWPAfoodbank.org www.NWPAfoodbank.org

1507 Grimm Drive Erie, PA 16501 Phone: (814) 459-3663

97 cents of every dollar that is donated to Second Harvest is used directly to help feed those in need WWW.NWPAFOODBANK.ORG

Spring 2016 newsletter  
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