Brittany is a mother to five children. When schools shut down due to COVID-19, she found herself in the full-time role of both teacher and food service worker to her children, which vary in age from preschool to high school. Brittany was actively pursuing a job opportunity that would allow her to work from home. However, when Pennsylvania shut down as a result of the pandemic, the opportunity was rescinded. Thankfully, Brittany’s husband was still able to work. However, with the added cost of feeding their children during the school closures, the family still faced challenges. To alleviate the expense of providing lunches for her children, Brittany began visiting Central Pennsylvania Food Bank's summer feeding site at her local school.
During Brittany and her children’s time at home, the children have learned how to prepare simple, quick meals from items they receive from the distribution site. “It’s really helped them learn how to be self-sustainable and independent,” Brittany says with hopes to return to the workforce soon. “Instead of asking ‘how long do I bake this,’ they [the kids] are able to look at the instructions… they’re figuring out the mechanics of cooking” she says.
Besides providing meals to the children, the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank has provided a box of produce and non-perishable items that the whole family can enjoy during this time. “I think it’s great. It’s kind of everything across the board. It’s a good variety,” Brittany shares.
Brittany is grateful to the program, which has allowed her to adjust her budget to make ends meet during this challenging time. “It’s helped me budget. Knowing, oh, those things such as milk and cereal and produce are there, so I can spend money on other necessities. It frees up a couple dollars elsewhere… you get a little more creative.”
Across Pennsylvania, families like Brittany’s are finding solace in the support of their community. Through partnership with more than 1,000 programs, across 27 counties, Central Pennsylvania Food Bank has been meeting the needs of neighbors like Brittany.