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Volunteering is very important to a community and to a person in general. Throughout our internship, we had time to volunteer with different organizations, whether it be sorting clothes at the Saint Vincent de Paul Thrift Store or weeding at the Sandyvale Gardens. Every volunteer experience was different from the others. One of the opportunities we had was to go to Bedford Food Outreach for their monthly food distribution.

There is a need in all areas of Bedford, Cambria, and Somerset counties for food for the food insecure. The food insecurity statistics are currently equal to the national and state averages in all three of these counties. In Bedford they are working to combat these issues via the Bedford Food Outreach, which distributes to many different people in need in their area.

Unique to Bedford is that unlike Cambria and Somerset counties they have a Wal-Mart Distribution Center as a local asset. They get excess food from the Distribution Center and then have several days when they pass out food to the local community members in need. They have a monthly distribution day as well as weekly produce days.

I had the pleasure to volunteer with my fellow group of interns at the food outreach during one of their monthly food distributions. People show up to the building, stand in line to get checked in, and then go through and get food. It is just like a shopping center. They take their shopping carts through and get food based on the number of people in their family. The food can be anything from fresh produce to boxes of cereal and macaroni and cheese.
Learn more about their important program that is helping out their community. 

–Abigail Paonessa, CFA Youth Philanthropy Intern

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