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Food Bank to Help Frontline Workers

PA REALTORS step up for front line workers, impacted families

Service grant helped feed houskeeping staffs at five hospitals; provide funding for local food bank

By Anthony SanFilippo
August 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been many unsung frontline heroes in hospitals and medical facilities across the country.

In addition, there have been those working tirelessly to make sure that everyone had enough food to eat as a result of financial and economic impacts that have affected jobs and incomes because of the coronavirus.

And then there are those, like the West Branch Valley Association of REALTORS® (WBVAR), who wanted to show their appreciation to the aforementioned folks for being so helpful during an unprecedented time in our history.

Using a Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS® Century of Service grant, WBVAR members donated their time to deliver hundreds of meals to the housekeeping staff at UPMC Williamsport, UPMC Muncy, Divine Providence Hospital, Geisinger Jersey Shore and UPMC Lock Haven.

“Many companies have been recognizing doctors and nurses during the pandemic, but we wanted to honor the unsung heroes who also help to stop the spread of the coronavirus in hospitals,” said Sarah Boyer, president-elect of WBVAR. “A friend who works in a hospital told me how she watched the housekeeping staff completely cleaning a room from the ceiling to the floors, disinfecting the space and how thoroughly they did that. They’re responsible for an important aspect of the hospital disinfecting process and sometimes get overlooked.”

Boyer said the staff were grateful for the meals. “Their gratitude was heartwarming,” she said. “It’s just a really great feeling when you give back to your community. Our Member Services Committee all remarked that we need to continue to do activities like this, not just during the pandemic.”

Additionally, WBVAR donated $1,100 to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank in Williamsport.

“We are so thankful to [WBVAR] for providing much-needed support to our Crisis Response,” said Joe Arthur, executive director of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. “The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and its partner network have provided nearly 50% more food in the last month than the same time last year and we believe demand will grow further as the economic crisis continues. Support like this also helps us provide the healthiest foods available.”

Some partners of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank have reported triple the amount of people seeking food assistance over the past two months. With Pennsylvania now having the second highest unemployment claim totals in the nation, the Food Bank expects demand for its services to continue to rise and expects to serve record high demand for months. The Food Bank continues to adapt each day and week to maintain a sustained response to this crisis.


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