Living Columns & Blogs

How you can help Centre County food pantries this holiday season

One of several programs administered by Centre County Government’s Office of Adult Services is the State Food Purchase Program, funding that is allocated to eight food pantries in the county: Bellefonte Faith Centre, Centre Hall/Potter Township, Penns Valley Community Action, Philipsburg Community Action, Snow Shoe/Mountaintop, Howard, Housing Transitions, Inc. and the State College Food Bank.

Last fiscal year, these food pantries collectively served 3,824 individuals with SFPP funds. That said, the number of families who are over-income for state-purchased foods, but in need food assistance to overcome a temporary crisis, is increasing.

While food pantry clients receive a variety of items, there are products that cannot be purchased with state dollars and/or food pantries run out of quickly. Donation ideas include: cereal, canned fruit (in 100 percent fruit juice), low-sodium canned vegetables, 100 percent fruit juice, condiments, baking products (flour, sugar, baking soda, etc.) personal items (toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, soap), detergents, cleaning supplies and paper products.

For those interested in making a donation to our network of food pantries during the holiday season, we thank you. Donations can be dropped off at the Toys for Tots unregistered site at Hills Plaza, 172/174 Rolling Ridge Drive, State College, PA 16801 (at the former Clothes Mentor site) during the following days/times:

  • 1-6 p.m. Thursday

  • 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday

  • 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday

On behalf of our department, we are grateful for our generous community members and all food pantry staff and volunteers who put in the extra time to make this program so successful.

Faith Ryan is the director of Centre County’s Office of Adult Services.