State College Food Bank launches $3 million capital campaign to expand and serve higher needs
Food insecurity is on the rise in Centre County, and to meet that need the State College Food Bank is starting its first ever capital campaign since opening four decades ago.
The food bank has served at least 40% more people since last year, according to Allayn Beck, the food bank’s executive director.
Beck said their board of directors has been preparing for an expansion since 2020.
“We were already out of space in our building before the pandemic. And then when the pandemic started, it just really exacerbated it and made it very clear that time was of the essence,” Beck said.
Sometime in spring of next year, the State College Food Bank will move into a new building behind College Gardens near the Nittany Mall. The building was bought with saved funds.
Beck said the $3 million capital campaign will pay for renovations. So far, about $2.1 million has been raised through its board of directors, volunteers and other lead gifts.
She said there will be a large warehouse and donation processing center at the new location. This will allow workers and volunteers at the food bank to accept donations 24 hours a day.
Other improved services will include personalized grocery orders, cooking demonstrations and expanded no-cost produce markets.
“We're gonna have a very large client choice pantry that will be basically set up like a free grocery store that will allow us to serve more people and in a more responsive way,” Beck said.
There will also be added space to help fight hunger across Centre County.
“So this warehouse is really going to open up the possibilities for us supporting and helping and serve almost as a hub for other feeding programs,” Beck said.
Monetary donations to the capital campaign can be made on the food bank's website, by mail or in-person.