Harrisburg – Visitors to the 2010 Pennsylvania Farm Show are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to the show on Monday, Jan. 11, as part of a food drive sponsored by the Department of Agriculture, Pennsylvania FFA Alumni and the Pennsylvania Association of Agricultural Educators.
Collection bins will be located in the Cameron Street Lobby of the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center and in the agriculture department’s booth, located in the Main Hall of the complex.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said the canned and non-perishable food drive is an opportunity to help Pennsylvanians trying to cope with challenging economic times.
“As we celebrate the diverse agriculture industry in Pennsylvania, it is important to remember those who are still at-risk for hunger in the state,” said Redding. “The last line of the FFA motto is ‘Living to Serve’ and the more than 8,000 FFA members across the state have embraced that concept with this food drive.”
The food drive is part of a larger “Fill the Truck” food donation campaign through the Pennsylvania FFA Association and Harrisburg Area Community College. The college’s agribusiness program was recognized for excellence by the National Association of Agriculture Educators and was awarded a new truck, which it donated to Central Pennsylvania Food Bank for food distribution.
In addition to the farm show food drive, FFA members will work to “fill the truck” during upcoming state conferences.
“The support our young agricultural leaders are providing to their fellow citizens proves the point that you cannot have a charitable food system without a food system that is charitable,” Redding added.
Redding noted that Pennsylvania’s emergency food system relies upon private support, such as food donations and charitable giving, as its foundation. Food drives, Redding said, play an important role in helping restock the shelves of pantries and county organizations that are finding it difficult to keep pace with increased demand for their services.
The food collected will go to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank in Harrisburg, which has experienced a more than 50 percent increase in requests for assistance during the past two years.
The Pennsylvania Farm Show runs Jan. 9-16 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is free. Parking is $10. Visit www.farmshow.state.pa.us for a detailed schedule.
Media contact: Nicole L. C. Bucher, 717-787-5085