CHAMBERSBURG – The Franklin County Commissioners have proclaimed September to be Hunger Action Month in Franklin County in an effort to raise awareness of food insecurity and the available resources that can help end hunger in local communities.
Created by Feeding America Food Banks, Hunger Action Month is a national campaign that highlights hunger issues facing communities across the country. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 34 million Americans – including 9 million children – face food insecurity, meaning they lack consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle. Many households experiencing food insecurity do not qualify for federal nutrition programs and depend on local food banks and other programs for support. In 2022, 49 million Americans turned to food programs for assistance.
Every community in the U.S. is home to families who face food insecurity, but hunger hits rural communities especially hard. Locally, 8.7% of Franklin County residents are considered to be food insecure. Between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023, the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and its partner agencies distributed over 3 million pounds of food in Franklin County through a network for food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and other community organizations. That includes Franklin County MilitaryShare, a program that provides free, fresh, nutritious food to veterans and military families once a month. The program, launched in May 2022, feeds more than 1,100 Franklin County residents each month.
“The Franklin County Commissioners are committed to working with the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and its partners, Waynesboro Community and Human Services and South Central Community Action Programs, to combat hunger and provide resources to those in need,” said Franklin County Commissioner Chairman Dave Keller. “By recognizing Hunger Action Month, we hope to raise awareness of the importance of food banks and similar programs. We also hope to encourage our residents to do their part – whether that’s through volunteerism, advocacy or monetary contributions – to ensure no one has to make the choice between food and essentials like medicine, housing or childcare.”
Information on area resources, including a list of food pantries, soup kitchens and other programs, as well as how Franklin County residents can support the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and its partner agencies is available online at www.centralpafoodbank.org.