On Centre: Around Bellefonte | FaithCentre Food Bank looking for community donations

The FaithCentre Food Bank needs donations.

Executive Director Nichole Summers said August is a tough time for reserves because the state hasn’t released funding yet, demand is always growing, and many people take vacations.

More than 800 people trek to the food bank each month, and Summers wants to make sure it can keep up with the demand and get the people fed.

“We have a high number of people who are kind of right on the edge, who really rely on the food bank to make sure they are not going hungry,” she said.

Summers put out a call for the basic items such as canned vegetables and fruit, non-perishable items and cereal, but she said it will accept anything that the community is willing to give.

The bank, which serves the Bellefonte area, Julian, part of Pleasant Gap and Zion, gives out about five large bags of groceries to the typical clients on a monthly basis. Summers said people walk out with dairy, meats, non-perishables and vegetables.

Some farms in the area also provide extra fresh vegetables from harvests, an act Summers said is welcomed.

“The community is very generous,” she said. “They are always a big help.”

The service is supported by the FaithCentre and is run almost entirely by a group of about 20 core volunteers. Summers said those individuals are “extraordinarily dedicated” and often log long hours each week.

The need for donations and volunteers has increased in recent years because demand is skyrocketing, Summers said. In 2007, the food bank served about 250 clients but that number has risen to the more than 800 who are served each month now.

Though demand has been leveling off a bit in the last year, Summers said additional workforce-type housing could make that number jump to more than 1,000. She said it would be tougher to serve a number that high, but she is optimistic that the nonprofit could continue to do it.