Seton Hill University raised roughly 200 pounds of food for the Westmoreland County Food Bank (WCFB) over the course of a week-long food drive. The annual drive, organized by SHU’s Society for Human Resources Managers (SHRM) student chapter, aims to bring awareness to and take part in fighting the hunger crisis in the community.
“What’s great about this year’s drive is that Charley’s Family Shop n’ Save will match up to the first 2,000 pounds that we donate,” said Sarah Melchiore, senior human resources major and student president of SHRM.
The food drive was held in conjunction with National Food Day, recognized annually on Oct. 24. The purpose of National Food Day is to promote healthy, affordable and sustainable eating. This habit of eating is generally affected by the hunger crisis, which puts millions of Americans at risk of not knowing where their next meal will come from; or it they do have a meal, often it does not reflect healthy and sustainable eating habits.
Bringing awareness to the hunger crisis, on National Food Day, SHU hosted its 21st World Hunger Panel. Members of the community came together to share knowledge and experience on the various factors that contribute to world hunger and the steps that can be taken in hopes to resolve it.
Kris Douglas, CEO of WCFB, spoke about some of the statistics surrounding the food crisis in Westmoreland County that affects more than 30,000 residents annually. Last year, 6,300 volunteers donated over 96,000 hours to feeding Westmoreland county. The WCFB relies heavily on volunteer and fundraising efforts. In 2016, 62 percent of its operating budget came from private fundraising, a 52 percent increase since 2000.
Working with organizations, such as Feeding America, WCFB offers a number of programs providing education and resources to combat the hunger crisis. Feeding America is a nonprofit, nationwide network of food banks that feeds over 46 million Americans through food pantries, shelters and other community-based organizations.
For more information on how to combat the hunger crisis locally, visit westmorelandfoodbank.org.