For this installation of our Looking Back, Moving Forward series, we sat down with Gene Brady, Executive Director of the Weinberg Northeast Pennsylvania Regional Food Bank, to get his take on the benefits of the natural gas industry and Cabot’s partnership with local community organizations in Pennsylvania.
Commission on Economic Opportunity (CEO) Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Food Bank
Housed within the Monsignor Andrew J. McGowan Center for Healthy Living, the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Northeast Regional Food Bank services all of northeastern Pennsylvania, including Lackawanna, Luzerne, Susquehanna, and Wyoming counties, to help about 40,000 families get the food they need.
By collecting donations of wholesome goods from the food industry and distributing it to member organizations, the Food Bank works to reduce hunger and promote proper nutrition while also remaining conscious of preventing waste.
Gene Brady explains how the natural gas industry has impacted local communities:
“If you went back, lets say a decade ago, you had people that economically were struggling. There were very few jobs that paid well that had wages that really could enable them to live comfortably. As you fast forward, some of the best jobs that people have in this community now really do come from Cabot and the associated industries.”
Back in 2016, Cabot helped fund a new program in Susquehanna County called Fill a Glass with Hope. Fill a Glass with Hope is a partnership formed among Feeding Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, Mid-Atlantic Dairy (now American Dairy Association North East), the Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program, agriculture partners, and business leaders that provide fresh milk to Pennsylvania families in need by working through their network of food banks.
Cabot’s funding assists the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Northeast Regional Food Bank so that they can purchase and deliver the fresh milk to Susquehanna County families.
During the inaugural year, Feeding Pennsylvania announced their ambitious goal of distributing 2 million servings of milk to families across Pennsylvania. In result, at the 2017 Farm Show, Feeding Pennsylvania Executive Director Jane Clements-Smith announced that 2.3 million servings of milk were distributed, which was far above their original goal!
Gene Brady oversees the program and explained why it is so important to the community:
“Milk is one of the food items most-requested by families, and yet it is rarely donated. As such, hungry families in our local communities are missing out on the essential nutrients milk provides. Thanks to Cabot, the Food Bank now offers fresh milk alongside fresh produce and other healthy food items at the Children’s Produce Markets, hosted by local schools.”
Cabot is proud to have started the program in Susquehanna County, but the need is still great, especially as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches quickly. Plenty of families across Pennsylvania are without nutrient-rich fresh milk essential to building strong bones. On average, $1 provides eight servings, or one half-gallon, of fresh milk to Pennsylvania families in need. Any amount of financial contributions made to Feeding Pennsylvania will help give families fresh milk.
Thanks to all of their generous supporters, the program has distributed more than 7 million servings of fresh milk since inception through the charitable food network of pantries, soup kitchen, shelters, and feeding programs.
To make a contribution to this fantastic program follow this link and select Fill a Glass With Hope under program you’d like to support.
SOURCES: Feedingpa.com, www.ceopeoplehelpingpeople.org