Five local organizations are partnering to provide free fresh produce to Centre County residents.
No-cost produce markets will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. (or until everything’s gone) on July 28, Aug. 25, and Sept. 29 in the former Express store at the Nittany Mall.
The State College Food Bank, Faith Centre Food Bank, State College Downtown Rotary Club, the Nittany Mall and Think We not Me are teaming up for the initiative to offer fresh, local produce at no cost as the community continues to struggle with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The effort helps make a reality of the State College Food Bank’s longtime goal of providing more fresh produce to people in Centre County, business manager Heather Lee said in a news release.
“We don’t want to see families cutting fresh produce from their weekly shopping due to cost-cutting,” Lee said. “Our hope is that by receiving produce from the no-cost market, families will be able to divert funds to other monthly bills, easing their financial burden.”
While providing food to community members, it also will support local farmers as the produce for the markets will be purchased from area growers.
“We also know that our local business owners have been affected greatly by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lee said. “Purchasing produce from local farmers like Green Heron Farm and Ardry Farm helps support our local economy while still providing a positive service to our community.”
For the State College Downtown Rotary, the markets are the latest effort to support the State College Food Bank and anti-hunger initiatives.
“The State College Downtown Rotary Club has proudly supported the State College Food Bank for several years,” club President Ja Nae Wian said. “Our support has included many partnerships on various programs to help fight food insecurity in our community. We are honored to serve alongside the many other volunteers on another impactful project. “