Due to the ongoing support Cabot Oil & Gas, every school district in Susquehanna County now benefits from the CEO Weinberg Northeast Regional Food Bank and their food assistance programs.
The CEO Weinberg Food Bank services charitable organizations by providing food to alleviate hunger and promote proper nutrition, particularly among children and the elderly. The Food Bank provides food assistance to non-profit community organizations to distribute to families in need. By collecting donations of wholesome goods from the food industry and distributing it to these organizations, the Food Bank works to reduce hunger and promote proper nutrition with the goal of ending hunger in northeast Pennsylvania by 2025.
Two of their programs, Fill a Glass with Hope and Children’s Produce Market, work towards that goal.
The Children’s Produce Market takes place once a month at each school and each family who registers will receive fresh bags of produce at no charge to them with no income guidelines.
“With the last addition of the Children’s Produce Market at Lathrop Elementary School in September 2018, every public school family in the county now gets a monthly invitation to receive fresh, healthy food at their schools,” said Gene Brady, executive director of the CEO Weinberg Food Bank.
In 2018, Children’s Produce Market served 737 families throughout Susquehanna County.
Part of the Food Bank’s initiative to bring children and families fresh and nutritious goods is the Fill a Glass with Hope program. As a partnership program formed among Feeding Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, American Dairy Association North East, the Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program, Fill a Glass with Hope provides fresh milk to Pennsylvania families in need through the CEO Weinberg Food Bank.
The program began in the Pittsburgh area in 2015 when Feeding Pennsylvania’s began focusing on providing more fresh product. Milk is one of the most requested food items, according to executive director, Jane Clements-Smith, but rarely donated.
“We are extremely appreciative of our dairy farmers and business leaders for investing in this amazing program so that the CEO Weinberg Food Bank can purchase milk at a reduced price,” Clements-Smith stated.
After hearing about the program, Cabot sponsored the expansion to northeast Pennsylvania, with the help of the CEO Weinberg Food Bank.
“Cabot has been a generous supporter of the CEO Weinberg Food Bank and the Fill a Glass with Hope program,” Brady related. “One of our big successes as a result of Cabot’s investment in the Fill a Glass with Hope program is the expansion of that program across Susquehanna County to all the school districts – all year round. This is a huge accomplishment and has tremendous impacts in terms of reducing hunger and food security – particularly among children.”
Brady noted that there are 74,370 “food insecure” people in Northeast Pennsylvania who, on average, run out of food two days per week. “Sadly, one in five children in the region are hungry,” he remarked.
In 2018, Fill a Glass with Hope provided over 42,000 servings of fresh milk to thousands of families in the county through the Children’s Produce Market.
Cabot is excited to be partnered with the Food Bank and to work together towards ending hunger in northeast Pennsylvania with help from vital programs like Fill a Glass with Hope and the Children’s Produce Market. The support of Cabot has led to other donations and partnerships within the gas industry, but none have been as consistent as Cabot, Brady added.
“Our relationship with the CEO Weinberg Food Bank has been extremely rewarding,” said George Stark, Cabot’s director of external affairs. “We cherish the opportunity to be part of programs that do so much good in the community and now look forward to continuing our partnership and advance their goal of ending hunger in northeast Pennsylvania by 2025.”