Pennsylvania 4-H accepting food donations at farm show

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Visitors to the Pennsylvania Farm Show are urged to contribute to the statewide “4-H Can Make A Difference” food drive and help feed the hungry.

Donated cans, boxes and bags of nonperishable food will be used to construct a 4-H House of Food made out of donated food products.

The display will be located in the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture exhibit.

This is the first year the 4-H food drive has been initiated with the Farm Show and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

Food products will be donated to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, which distributes food to 320 nonprofit groups, including soup kitchens, shelters and food pantries.

“Traditionally, food drives take place during the Christmas season, but the need for food doesn’t go away after the holidays,” said Marilyn Corbin, state program leader for children, youth and families with Penn State Cooperative Extension. “In an agricultural state such as Pennsylvania, it’s sad that people still go hungry. The Pennsylvania food banks are in desperate need of our help.”

Items needed. Non-perishable items always are needed. Some of the types of foods most needed include: canned tuna, canned meats and stews, soups, peanut butter, canned fruits and vegetables, packaged pasta and rice, canned and dried beans, pure fruit and vegetable juices, nonfat dry milk, baby food, cereal and formula (must be within code date).

The Department of Health requires that all cans have labels and are free of dents or rust. Packaged goods must be factory sealed. Also, health laws prohibit the distribution of home-canned or home-packaged foods.

Pennsylvania hunger. Statistics from the Pennsylvania Hunger Action Center show that more than 736,800 Pennsylvanians are “food insecure” each year, and that number is rising. More than half of those are children.

“4-H is proud to lead such an important effort to make a difference in the lives of needy citizens,” said Corbin. “4-H encourages all citizens to join in the fight to eliminate hunger in this state and to become involved in local community action initiatives.”

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