Scottdale company offers challenge grant for Westmoreland food bank | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Scottdale company offers challenge grant for Westmoreland food bank

Stephen Huba
1666127_web1_gtr-FoodBank-091319
Stephen Huba | Tribune-Review
Accepting the 2019 Partner of the Year Award from the Westmoreland County Food Bank are (third and fourth from left) Penn Line Service Marketing Manager Shawn Nicholson and President David Lynn. With them are (from left) state Sens. Pat Stefano and Kim Ward and Food Bank CEO Jennifer Miller.
1666127_web1_gtr-FoodBank2-091319
Stephen Huba | Tribune-Review
Partnership Luncheon participants peruse the artwork of Christopher Visgitis on Thursday at the Westmoreland County Food Bank.
1666127_web1_gtr-FoodBank3-091319
Stephen Huba | Tribune-Review
The Christopher Visgitis painting "Empty" is displayed in the Westmoreland County Food Bank warehouse on Thursday. His paintings were part of a silent auction at the 2019 Annual Partnership Luncheon.

In 2000, fundraising accounted for 10% of the Westmoreland County Food Bank’s budget. In 2018, that portion had risen to 60%.

Food Bank CEO Jennifer Miller cited that number at Thursday’s Annual Partnership Luncheon to highlight the importance of partners — agencies, volunteers and donors.

“Our partners are not taken for granted. We cannot do what we do without you,” Miller said. “Partnership is of the utmost importance.”

Among the Food Bank’s partners are 63 local agencies, 7,000 volunteers and 40,000 food and funding donors, she said.

The Food Bank used the luncheon to announce its 2019 Partner of the Year — Penn Line Service Inc., Scottdale. The award is given annually to an individual or organization that best exemplifies selfless giving to the Food Bank.

Penn Line has partnered with the Food Bank since 2009 and began a matching gift program in 2015. This year, for Hunger Action Month, the company is offering a $5,000 challenge grant. On Sept. 28, the “Day 2 Don8,” Penn Line will match up to $5,000 of funds donated on that day.

Keynote speaker Cheryl Cook, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture deputy secretary, noted that the Food Bank distributed 6 million pounds of food in 2018, 2 million pounds of which were fruits and vegetables.

Westmoreland County farms donated 19,743 pounds of produce to the Food Bank in 2018, according to the 2018 annual report.

Cook said farms and farmers are an important part of the solution to “food insecurity.”

“In Pennsylvania, we have three times as many farmers over the age of 65 as we have under the age of 35. That’s not a good place to be if you want to talk about food security and how we feed ourselves as a nation,” she said.

Cook said Pennsylvania lost 10% of its farms between 2012 and 2017. That number dropped from 59,309 in 2012 to 53,157 in 2017, according to the 2017 Census of Agriculture.

Cook said the agriculture department addresses the issue of food security through four questions: Is food available at any price? Is food affordable? Is the food safe? Is the food nutritious?

“There are one in eight Pennsylvanians who are considered food insecure based on affordability – who aren’t always sure where their next meal is coming from,” she said.

In addition to the “Day 2 Don8,” the Food Bank is observing Hunger Action Month with a display in the Westmoreland County Courthouse courtyard for the entire month of September.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Westmoreland
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.