Employee campaign puts the 'you' in LCUW

Published 10.31.2018

Faculty & Staff

DePasqua (in Santa hat) and Karen P. Fessler, the college's director of procurement services, aid the food bank's holiday distribution.Construction management students contributed a record-setting effort this semester, packing 970 boxes for the agency’s Military Share program.Helpful college employees turn out to improve the lives of their neighbors.Penn College faculty and staff annually provide much-needed financial support to the Lycoming County United Way and the local agencies that it assists. To illuminate the latest campaign (which began Monday and runs through Nov. 29), PCToday is profiling employees who volunteer their time with nonprofits that directly benefit from donors' generosity. This initial post spotlights the work done by Marianne E. DePasqua, client development specialist at Workforce Development & Continuing Education, on behalf of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.

Lycoming County United WayHow are you involved?
I serve on the Board of Directors and as chair of the Northern Tier Advisory Committee (the Northern Tier region, serviced by the Williamsport Healthy Food Hub, serves 13 of the 27 counties in the Central PA Food Bank’s territory). Three years ago, I founded a volunteer group, The Fabulous Food Packers. This group meets the third Tuesday of every month from 6-8 p.m. and packs approximately 1,000 boxes for the Military Share program. Numerous Penn College employees and students have volunteered with this group and continue to do so on a regular basis. I participate in the Holiday Food Distribution each year. I’m an advocate for hunger insecurity.

Why is this agency important to the community?
The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank’s mission is to reduce hunger in 27 central Pennsylvania counties, including Lycoming. With over 40 percent of households living below the poverty level in the United States, many children are affected by hunger right in our backyard. Locally, the Williamsport Area School District has more than 3,400 students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. Many of those children, who do not have access to adequate nutrition in their household, are coming to school on empty stomachs because of their families' limited financial resources to purchase food.

The Cupboard, Penn College's food pantry, is located on campus and provides a more readily accessible source of food assistance. There were 55 visits in September alone, serving 23 individuals or households, and demand has been even higher in October.

By providing services in schools, the social and economic well-being is enhanced. Nutritious and balanced diets are linked to productivity in school, along with improving health outcomes in the community.

Services the agency provides that are supported by the United Way
There are a number of programs designed to reach thousands struggling with hunger every day:

  • ElderShare, serving seniors

  • Fresh Express mobile pantries, distributing fresh produce and dairy products year-round

  • Youth programs (such as Kids Cafe, BackPack and School Pantries) in schools, afterschool and summer meal programs

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program outreach, assisting eligible families

  • Emergency Food Distribution (such as pantries, soup kitchens and emergency shelters), serving families

  • Military Share, serving veteran households

Live UnitedWhy the United Way’s support is important to your agency?
Lycoming County serves over 217,000 meals per month. By working together, we make a difference. For every $1 donated, the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank is able to provide six nutritious meals in the region. Ninety-seven percent of these gifts support programs serving our neighbors in need.

Employees wishing to contribute to the Penn College campaign can visit the Diversity & Community Engagement page on the myPCT portal – where pledge paperwork is supplemented by "What a Dollar Buys" and other documented impact – or fill out the form and send to DIF #44 or by email to Katie L. Mackey, director of campus and community engagement, and campaign co-chair: Lycoming County United Way 2018-19 Pledge Form