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  • Hunger-Free Pennsylvania

Join our holiday countdown with 19 days of food!



“Operation Food Basket” is a fun holiday activity for the whole family

The day after Thanksgiving, many families have traditions of putting up their trees or hitting the stores at 5 a.m. for Black Friday deals. This year at Hunger-Free Pennsylvania, we have come up with a new holiday tradition in the spirit of giving.

“Operation Food Basket” is a new holiday activity during which we will put an item of food aside each day and take the full basket of food to our local food bank at the end. We hope you’ll participate too in the spirit of giving!

Additionally, we will be featuring a new Hunger-Free Pennsylvania member each day to shed light on the work our local food banks do across the state.

We went to a local discount grocer and spent a total of $31 on the following items, including our holiday treat! For a breakdown of what we spent on each item, click here.

Follow along with us by printing out this blog post, or follow our progress on Facebook. And, if you decide to fill up your own basket to help families in need, please share with us your pictures to encourage others to do the same!

Day 1: Put a box of Cheerios in your basket.

Featured HFPA member: Bucks County Opportunity Council

  • BCOC offers many programs including food assistance. Since 1997, BCOC's Economic Self-Sufficiency Program has seen more than 280 graduates. The program teaches low-income residents how to overcome barriers that prevent a better and enjoy more financially stable life.

Day 2: Put a box of UHT Fluid Milk (shelf-stable) in your basket.

Featured HFPA member: Butler County Food Program

  • 1,206,384 meals were distributed to individuals and families throughout Butler County in fiscal year 2014-15!


Cheerios with milk will provide 13 servings or breakfast for a family of three for four days!

Day 3: Put a jar of peanut butter in your basket.

Featured HFPA member: Central Pennsylvania Food Bank

  • Central Pennsylvania Food Bank's year-round Fresh Express Program provides nutritious foods to more than 11,000 people each month, at more than 51 distribution sites, in 15 different counties.

Day 4: Put a jar of grape jelly in your basket.

Featured HFPA member: Chester County Food Bank

  • The Chester County Food Bank serves more than 120 partner agencies in Chester County, PA.

Day 5: Put a box of Ritz crackers in your basket.

Featured HFPA member: Community Food Warehouse of Mercer County

  • CFWMC's Backpack Program provides weekend meals to more than 850 children in 8 school districts.


Crackers and PB&J will provide 20 servings or lunch for a family of three for six days!

Day 6: Put a can of peaches in your basket.

Featured HFPA member: Food for Families (Cambria County)

  • Last year, Food for Families provided more than 330,000 pounds of food to over 75,000 individuals.

Day 7: Put 2 cans of tuna in your basket.

Featured HFPA member: Greater Berks Food Bank

  • GBFB distributed nearly 7.3 million pounds of food to our 280 charitable food program partners: food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, after-school programs and senior housing facilities.

Day 8: Put a can of Cream of Mushroom soup in your basket.

Featured HFPA member: Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

  • The Food Bank's 94,000 sq. ft. wherehouse allows it to serve a variety of functions --- including the inspection and re-packaging of food, preparing and arranging deliveries and pickups, and cooking meals in a test kitchen for nutrition education.

Day 9: Put a package of egg noodles in your basket.

Featured HFPA member: Greater Washington County Food Bank

  • More than 30% of the Greater Washington County Food Bank's recipients are children under the age of 18, and more than 20% are seniors.

Day 10: Put a can of peas in your basket.

Featured HFPA member: Indiana County Community Action Program

  • Indiana County Community Action Program (ICCAP) monitors a network of 18 food pantries and provides services designed to help families and individuals attain self-sufficiency.


Tuna Noodle Casserole with a side of peaches will provide six servings or dinner for a family of three for two days!

Day 11: Put a jar of spaghetti sauce in your basket.

Featured HFPA member: Montgomery County Community Action Development Commission

  • Established in 1966, CADCOM offers a variety of services for residents including nutrition assistance and emergency food packages.

Day 12: Put a package of spaghetti noodles in your basket.

Featured HFPA member: Philabundance

  • Philabundance provides food to approximately 90,000 people per week – of which 30% are children and 15% are senior citizens – through our network of nearly 350 member agencies including food cupboards, shelters, emergency kitchens and more.

Day 13: Put a can of fruit cocktail in your basket.

Featured HFPA member: Fayette County Community Action Food Bank

  • Last year, FCCAA Food Bank collected more than 1.8 million pounds of food and distributed it to approximately 9,000 people.


Spaghetti with a side of fruit cocktail will provide six servings or dinner for a family of three for two days!

Day 14: Put a can of chicken in your basket.

Featured HFPA member: Second Harvest Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley & Northeast PA

  • Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley and Northeast Pennsylvania provides food and grocery product to more than 69,000 individuals each month through a network of more than 200 member agencies.

Day 15: Put a box of biscuit mix in your basket.

Featured HFPA member: Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest PA

  • A total of 167,700 unduplicated individuals receive food from Second Harvest each year. This number represents one in four people in northwest Pennsylvania.

Day 16: Put a can of mixed vegetables in your basket.

Featured HFPA member: SHARE Food Program

  • Last year, Share brought 24.6 million pounds of emergency food relief to low-income Philadelphia residents facing hunger.


Chicken & Biscuits with mixed vegetables will provide three servings or dinner for a family of three for one day.

Day 17: Put a box of yellow cake mix in your basket.

Featured HFPA member: Weinberg Northeast PA Regional Food Bank

  • The Weinberg Food Bank receives its food from a variety of sources --- including growers, retailers, canners, packers, wholesalers, processors, food brokers, grocery stores and manufacturers. Businesses, service organizations, churches and schools also assist in providing food through food drives.

Day 18: Put a can of pineapple in your basket.

Featured HFPA member: Westmoreland County Food Bank

  • Each month, Westmoreland County Food Bank serves more than 7,000 families.


Pineapple Upside Down Cake will be a special holiday dessert for a family in need.

Day 19: Add a special Christmas treat of your choice to your basket! We chose a decorate your own gingerbread man kit.

Featured HFPA member: York County Food Bank

  • York County Food Bank's Food for Families serves an average of 110 people each week.


When your basket is full, take it to your local food bank or food pantry!

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