Fresh Express

Fresh fruits and vegetables all year long!

Fruits and Veggies Coming to Columbia on the fourth Friday of every month beginning July 27

What is Fresh Express?
Fresh Express is a year-round program operated by Central Pennsylvania Food Bank that distributes fruits & vegetables, milk, and eggs to low-income families each month.

When and where will Fresh Express happen in Columbia?

Fresh Express Columbia will be on the fourth Friday of each month beginning July 27, 2018 from 3:30-5:30 PM at Park Elementary School (50 S. 6th Street).

Who does this program serve?
Fresh Express is open to individuals and families in the Columbia area making less than 185% of the federal poverty level (about $46,000/year for a family of 4). More than 70% of the students in the Columbia school district come from low-income families. For people who do not have transportation, it is important to have fresh food within walking distance to be able to eat a nutritious diet. Columbia has limited places to get healthy foods, so this program is to help fill that need.

Who runs the program?
Fresh Express in Columbia is a partnership between:

What exactly happens at Fresh Express?
At 2:00 PM, the Central PA Food Bank truck arrives, the driver unloads the food in boxes on large pallets and delivers them into the cafeteria at Park Elementary. Volunteers unpack the food and organize it on tables. At 3:00 PM, LG Health staff will begin checking in clients at the registration desk and direct clients to the waiting room. In the waiting room, clients can sample recipes and watch a cooking demonstration. From 3:30-5:30 PM, clients will walk through the cafeteria and select their food items, one client at a time. Each item is labeled with the quantity they can take based on their family size. At 5:30 PM, leftover food is taken to other Columbia food pantries. Volunteers and staff clean up, and everyone is finished by 6:30 PM.

What do volunteers do?
Volunteers make this program possible! Below are the common volunteer tasks:

  • Unpack food and help organize and display items; refill tables as needed
  • Help staff with client registration
  • Host the waiting area and let clients know when it is their turn to select food
  • Help staff with cooking demonstrations and recipe sampling in the waiting area
  • Explain the process to new clients and answer questions
  • Keep shopping carts, shopping bags and boxes organized
  • Clean up empty boxes and pack up supplies

We ask all volunteers to complete an online Child Abuse Clearance and a Criminal History check and bring the printed records with them to their first volunteer experience.
For more information, email Lauren Finn.

Click here to learn more or to sign up!