Westmoreland County Food Bank Earns Coveted 4-Star Rating From Charity Navigator
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has been operating for over 160 days without a budget. The Westmoreland County Food Bank has fared well until now. As the six-month mark has passed without receiving funds to purchase food through the State Food Purchase Program, the administration of the Food Bank has had to make some difficult decisions.
“This has become quite the perfect storm,” said Westmoreland County Food Bank CEO, Kris Douglas. “We have taken from our reserves to continue to provide the quality and quantity of services for our consumers, but at this point, we just can’t keep up.” Unfortunately, along with the state money not flowing through to the Food Bank, annual Thanksgiving and Christmas donations are also down substantially.
“We know that this is a very difficult time in our world and we are here doing our best to help our neighbors in need, but we have had to make the tough decision to begin reducing the amount of food that is given until we receive the funds from the state,” continued Mr. Douglas.
The Food Bank takes pride in the fact that they have always been able to provide a substantial food package, however the following items will be cut beginning in January. One canned vegetable item, spaghetti sauce, spaghetti, shelf stable milk, and potatoes. They hope that it has to go no further and funding levels are restored to maintain services.
The Food Bank continues to see a record-breaking number of households who are in need of help. Each month, over 16,500 individuals benefits from the food that is distributed via the Delmont facility to over 60 agencies throughout Westmoreland County. The Food Bank is ever conscious that they must maintain prudent fiscal management of the public and private donations they receive. They have proudly been able to maintain at least 96 cents of every dollar donated going back out to help those in need.
“Without the community’s support, we would not be able to do what we do,” said Douglas. “That is why the decline in donations is very concerning, especially this year, and at this time.” For every $1 that is donated, the Food Bank is able to purchase $5 worth of food. If you would like to help the Westmoreland County Food Bank continue to feed our hungry neighbors, donations are being accepted online at www.westmorelandfoodbank.org or you can mail them to 100 Devonshire Drive, Delmont, PA 15626-1607. If you have any questions about the food bank, please visit their website or call 724.468.8660.
About Westmoreland County Food Bank
The Westmoreland County Food Bank serves nearly 45,000 area residents each year including 13,500 children and 4,950 seniors. WCFB currently has 62 member agencies in their network of emergency feeding sites. Of those, 45 are food pantries in which low income consumers are able to access emergency food assistance throughout the month. Last year (2014), the Food Bank distributed over 8.6 million pounds of food.
50% of WCFB’s food comes from the federal and state governments and the remaining 50% from local donations, food drives, and Feeding America. Administrative and fundraising costs account for 4% of the Food Bank’s operating budget.