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Food bank responding to rise in demand

The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank is asking people to change the way they shop at grocery stores during the pandemic.

LYCOMING COUNTY, Pa. — Due to the coronavirus, more people are relying on the aid of food banks. Officials with the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank say demand for food is increasing at a steady rate.

"We're actually shipping out, receiving and shipping out about 50% more food than we were back in February," said the Executive Director of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Joe Arthur.

Arthur says its difficult to keep up with the demand. The Food Bank normally packs around 250,000 pounds of food per day- but now the daily total is around 400,000 pounds.

"I am confident that we will be able to keep up but we do need the public to continue providing monetary donations because again we do have to do a lot of buying and there is a bunch of operational expenses to do all of this," said Arthur.

Most of the food they get is either bought from or donated by companies like grocery stores. However, many of the items they would normally get from grocery stores are hard to come by due to panic buying.

"We need people in the public to really stop the over buying and allow the grocery store system to get the supply lines full again."

The food bank and its partners have had to make changes to the way they distribute food. Most distributions are now done by curbside pickup and without the help of volunteers.

Arthur said, "We moved to no touch so like curbside service and putting the food in the trunk of their cars and not having folks come into the building to shop at pantries and so forth."

If you would like to donate to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, you can find a link to their page right here:

https://www.centralpafoodbank.org/