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Medicine and Health

Centre County YMCAs Struggle To Keep Up With Increasing Food Demands

Volunteers pack food for the YMCA of Centre County's Anti-Hunger Program.
Carolyn Donaldson
Volunteers pack food for the YMCA of Centre County's Anti-Hunger Program.

YMCAs in Centre County have provided meals to kids and families in need throughout the coronavirus pandemic. But recently, there’s been an increase in need and they’re having trouble keeping up.

Mel Curtis is the Anti-Hunger Director for Centre County YMCAs. Curtis said people are seeking out YMCA food assistance in similar numbers to the beginning of the pandemic.

“They’re facing that food insecurity problem, and with the holidays coming up, it’s making it a lot worse," Curtis said.

Curtis said for more than a week, they haven’t had enough for everyone at their food distributions. The Moshannon Valley branch ran out of food again Thursday morning as more senior citizens have come out. With Thanksgiving less than a week away, Curtis said people from all walks of life are looking for food.

“A lot of these people are struggling," Curtis said. "They are now at a point where they’re not afraid to come out and seek help.”

Centre County residents can pick up Thanksgiving meals through the YMCA’s “Thanksgiving blessing in a box” program Friday and Monday at any YMCA Centre County branch. Curtis said they had planned to pack 250 boxes with turkey, stuffing and other Thanksgiving foods.

But with fears there won’t be enough meals to go around for Thanksgiving, Curtis said they will increase the number of boxes they package.

“I honestly won’t let that happen," Curtis said. "We will make sure that we have food for every family who calls in.”

Curtis said Centre County YMCAs will be doing a Christmas meal project as well.

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