The United Way of Bucks County will mark a significant milestone this year at its annual Bucks Knocks Out Hunger event this week by celebrating the packing of its millionth meal for local families in need.
While the occasion calls for recognition, it also highlights the persistent problem of hunger in Bucks County.
Bucks Knocks Out Hunger, also known as BKO Hunger, is a county-wide food drive, fundraiser, and one-day meal-packing event aimed at fighting hunger in the region.
A large crowd of donors, advocates, and volunteers come together each year to combat food insecurity.
The meal-packing event is scheduled for Friday, June 16th at Neshaminy Mall. Community members who wish to contribute as volunteers can register at UWBucks.org/bkohunger.
Despite the efforts made to address hunger, the United Way of Pennsylvania has released troubling new data. According to the data, the percentage of local households classified as ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) has risen by 12.5 percent.
“When the budgets of ALICE families are stretched thin, healthy food is one of the first things families cut out in order to make ends meet,” explained Tim Philpot, Coordinator of BKO Hunger for United Way. “Sadly, it’s cheaper to feed your family less healthy foods that are filling, rather than the kinds of foods that really meet their nutritional needs.”
The shelf-stable meals packed at BKO Hunger support various mobile and brick-and-mortar food pantries across the county, including the United Way of Bucks County’s HELP Center.
The funds raised through the program enable the provision of nutritious options such as fresh produce, eggs, and dairy to local pantries, senior centers, and the Fresh Connect farmers’ markets.
Donations towards the cause can be made at UWBucks.org/bkohunger or by sending a check to United Way of Bucks County, 413 Hood Boulevard, Fairless Hills, PA 19030, with “BKO Hunger” written in the memo line.
Editor’s Note: Publisher Tom Sofield is a member of the United Way of Bucks County Board of Directors.