The State College Food Bank has provided services to clients since October 1982, operating out of the basement of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church on Fraser Street as a temporary solution to a temporary need. As the need grew, so did the Food Bank. Although the Food Bank was grateful for all that St. Andrew's Episcopal Church had done to create and host the Food Bank, the demands were too much for the small space provided.
In 2007, the Food Bank moved from St. Andrew's to Hamilton Square Plaza. This was to be a temporary solution until the Board of Directors could find a permanent, larger facility. Due to the limited space at Hamilton Square, the Food Bank rented a separate storage facility at the Nittany Mall. This presented challenges of moving product back and forth between the facilities. In addition, food would sometimes become outdated since it was difficult to keep up with the sorting/organization of product stored there.
Seven years later, the board found the answer at 1321 South Atherton Street. In March 2014, the Food Bank moved from Hamilton Square to Atherton Street. The larger facility enabled the Food Bank to initiate the "Client Choice" model of distribution. Now clients can choose the groceries that they and their household will consume. No longer will they receive a pre-packed bag for their normal distribution, where they were never sure what canned vegetable or fruit they might receive. We often received reports of the wasted food in trash containers at large housing complexes or a bag of groceries that obviously had originated at the Food Bank showed up on our doorsteps. Even though clients needed the food given to them, their families still have their likes and dislikes. Now they can choose the green beans over the canned carrots or the Raisin Bran cereal over oatmeal.
This quote sums up what Client Choice means to the Food Bank's clients:
"I feel like a person."
The Food Bank looks forward to the many changes and new programs that will benefit the community in the future.