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Entering its third year of partnership, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and Community Action Partnership bring Fresh Express, a mobile food pantry filled with fresh produce and healthy food options, to Columbia.

Fresh Express Pet Food Pantry
Volunteers prepare pet food at Fresh Express in January.

New in 2020, the program will offer pet food for participants  thanks to generous donations from Spike’s Pet Pantry. To prevent food-insecure families from having to surrender their pets, while also decreasing the expense associated with feeding them, cat and dog food will be included, and brands will vary based on donations. 

The program is available:

  • Fresh Express Columbia: Fourth Friday of every month from 3:30 – 5:30 pm at Park Elementary School 50 S. 6th St., Columbia, PA 17512

The program is free to individuals and families from Columbia who meet income guidelines (for example, at or below an annual income of $37,650 for a family of four). Upon arrival, customers sign a simple form that confirms they meet the income guidelines, and then they can shop and select products.

“People who are food-insecure, meaning they do not have enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle, are at risk of more chronic diseases related to diet, like diabetes and heart disease,” said Heather Rotella, Health Promotion Specialist at LG Health. “Having access to affordable fresh fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods is very important for our community’s health.” Rotella added that the program offers fresh fruits, vegetables, milk and eggs to participants.

To register for the program, call 717-684-1497.

Learn more about the Fresh Express program.

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