United Way’s ‘Big Cheese’ event returns to help combat local hunger needs

Hundreds of volunteers gathered at Penn State Berks Friday evening to participate in United Way’s Big Cheese 6 event. The event was paused during the past two years due to the pandemic.

“Too many families in our community struggle with having enough food,” said Tammy White, President, United Way of Berks County. “The Big Cheese is a small way to ease some of that need. When we issued the call for volunteers, 500 people signed up in just over 30 minutes. Berks County has no shortage of people who want to help. We are inspired by our volunteers, and we are grateful for the kind support.”

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The packaged meals will be provided to Helping Harvest, and a supply will also be provided to the Reading School District. Both organizations will store and distribute the meals to those in need throughout the year.

“We know in Berks County one in five people face food insecurity, or are at risk. We thank the Big Cheese volunteers and supporters for making a significant difference in the lives of children and families during the coming months,” says Jay Worrall, President of Helping Harvest.

More than 500 volunteers, individuals, families and corporate teams, packaged 250,000 nutritionally fortified mac and cheese meals, with support from The Outreach Program, a national nonprofit that organizes food packing events with local organizations across the country.

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Each meal includes all the dry ingredients to make approximately six servings. Each meal costs 25 cents; costs were supported through United Way’s community impact budget directed towards meeting basic needs, event sponsors FirstEnergy Foundation and Santander and community support.

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Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly is an independent and locally owned digital newspaper covering the City of Reading and Berks County. Subscribe today: berksweekly.com/subscribe
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