Guest blog by Lancaster Downtowner, Andy Berfond


Remember Restaurant Week? Not too long ago an annual tradition took place all around the city, when local restaurants offered special deals to entice the consuming public to dine out. It was celebrated with a preview party on the Imperial Terrace at the Holiday Inn, when participating chefs showcased their culinary skills before the big week.

Downtowner Carol Kirchner was a sponsor this year, and she was recognized along with other supporting community partners. Ellen and I were excited to be invited as her guests to attend the event, and it was there that I had the pleasure to meet Corinne Foster.

Corinne is a food blogger on social media, but more importantly, she is the Development and Digital Communications Manager at the Lancaster County Food Hub. This intergenerational meeting of two
foodies provided an opportunity to briefly share commonalities and culinary experiences.

While we related about the power of social media, I wanted to learn more about the Food Hub, especially as we are fast approaching the holiday season when so many people continue to struggle to keep food on the table. Corinne arranged for me to take a tour of their warehouse at 812 North Queen Street in Lancaster.

The Food Hub is the largest direct-to-client food distribution site in Lancaster County and they are on track to serve over 45000 people by the end of this year just for food. To make that happen, they collaborate with many other organizations and community partners along with generous donations from businesses and individuals.

The Food Hub is a whole lot more than a source for food and nutritional education. It distributes clothing and accessories as well as linkage to a variety of community services including housing options. The projection this year for food, clothing and shelter services is 56,000.

They are also very supportive in their own neighborhood. On my tour, I learned about a program for the local homeless population surrounding the warehouse on North Queen Street. Willing participants were tasked with keeping the neighborhood clean in return for a twenty dollar per day stipend. By empowering those struggling with homelessness, a win win relationship is created.

Knowing how many Downtowners are alway looking for meaningful volunteer opportunities, the Food Hub welcomes newcomers, and donations of food, clothing and monetary contributions are also very much appreciated.

It’s that time of year again for us to count our blessings. How ever you’ll be celebrating, have a wonderful Thanksgiving