York County Food Bank prepares for third annual Give-A-Meal

Junior Gonzalez
York Dispatch

The York County Food Bank is working with more than a dozen school districts to help sort, pack and distribute 1,500 holiday meals

York County Food Bank

The districts will help sort and distribute the meals as part of the York County Food Bank’s third annual Give-A-Meal program.

For nearly a month, the food bank held a food drive, seeking mainly traditional holiday foods and sides such as turkey, canned cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes.

Now, more than 60 volunteers — including community members, church clergy and volunteers from 13 school districts — will pack meals for local families in need this weekend at the York County Food Bank’s future home on East King Street.

On Monday, Dec. 18, the prepared boxes will be sent to participating school districts, which will distribute the meals.

Ronald Dyer, superintendent of the participating Dallastown Area School District, said the event serves as a “hands-on opportunity” for students to serve their community.

“I am confident that all the districts participating are as excited to help in this worthwhile endeavor as we are,” he said.

Now in its third year, the Give-A-Meal program has become the food bank’s most impactful program, according to Debbie Krout, food bank director of development and communications.

Access to food: According to a 2015 study by the anti-hunger charity Feeding America, 10.5 percent of York County residents do not have consistent access to food.

In recent years, school districts across York County have seen a substantial increase in students receiving free and reduced-price lunches, a typical indicator of financial need.

At Red Lion Area School District, for example, the percentage of students receiving free and reduced-price lunch has increased from 27 percent to more than 52 percent in the past six years alone, according to Department of Education data.

Krout said the food bank is especially grateful to participating school districts for their “tremendous” support of the program.

“They’re the true champions of the program by distributing meals directly to the children and families who need it,” Krout said.

Distribution times and methods will vary among the 13 participating York County school districts:

  • Central York School District
  • Dallastown Area School District
  • Dover Area School District
  • Eastern York School District
  • Northeastern School District
  • Southeastern School District
  • Southern York County School District
  • South Western School District
  • Spring Grove Area School District
  • Red Lion Area School District
  • West Shore School District
  • York City School District
  • York Suburban School District