FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
PENNSYLVANIA, July 20, 2023 – The Pennsylvania Commission for the United States Semiquincentennial (America250PA) observes its third annual Pennsylvania Day initiative in support of Feeding Pennsylvania and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.
July 20th is recognized as National Pennsylvania Day, and America250PA has dedicated this day to encouraging Pennsylvanians to volunteer across the Commonwealth under the theme of “Pennsylvanians helping Pennsylvanians.”
“America250PA is a historic initiative that celebrates our Commonwealth’s vibrant past and brings together our communities and leaders to make an even brighter future. Volunteerism, neighbors helping neighbors, Pennsylvanians helping Pennsylvanians is exactly how our Commonwealth and our communities have thrived over the last 250 years,” said Cassandra Coleman, Executive Director of America250PA. “When we first launched the initiative, we hoped that Pennsylvania Day would inspire involvement from residents of all ages to lend a helping hand when they have it, and so far, we’ve seen just that and more.”
This has been the third year that America250PA has worked with Feeding Pennsylvania to recruit volunteers to complete activities at member food banks, such as packing food boxes to distribute to seniors and veterans. In 2021 and 2022, America250PA PA Day volunteers packed 17,000 boxes of food, prepared 958 meals, sorted over 9,000 lbs of produce & frozen food, and filled over 400 volunteer shifts! This year’s food bank effort was generously presented by Natural Food Group and The GIANT Company.
“Feeding Pennsylvania and our member food banks are grateful for our ongoing partnership with America250PA, and we are excited to participate in the third annual National Pennsylvania Day,” said Feeding Pennsylvania Interim CEO, CFO Shea Saman. “Our network of food banks and the neighbors they serve continue to face financial challenges due to higher food costs and uncertainty within essential benefit programs like SNAP. Collaborative partnerships with organizations like America250PA provide critical support to our food banks and help us to ensure that everyone across Pennsylvania has access to enough healthy and nutritious food.”
“The GIANT Company is excited to once again team up with America250PA to celebrate Pennsylvania Day, and we can’t think of a better way to do so than by giving back to the communities who’ve given us so much,” said Jessica Groves, Manager of Community Impact at The GIANT Company. “We’ve been privileged to serve the commonwealth for the past 100 years and look forward to doing so for the next 100 years. We encourage Pennsylvanians from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia and everywhere in between to get out and give back in honor of
the state we’re fortunate enough to call home.”
“Natural Food Group is committed to making a difference in the lives of others by fighting hunger,” said Murat Guzel, CEO of Natural Food Group. “We are honored to partner with America250PA for Pennsylvania Day and thankful for the opportunity to help our communities.”
In addition to working with Feeding Pennsylvania this year, America250PA has also partnered with Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful to include projects such as community cleanups, revitalization efforts, and more in order to prepare the Commonwealth for the influx of visitors expected in 2026. America250PA, with the generous support of EQT Corporation and in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, awarded $18,900 in support of 11 projects that aim to improve communities and engage more volunteers.
“Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is proud to support the [America250PA] partners and their projects. We know that community improvements, whether through litter cleanups, beautification, planting community gardens or improving playgrounds leads to thriving communities,” said Shannon Reiter, President of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. “We are honored to provide National Pennsylvania Day grants, with support of [America250PA], to invest in the noble and necessary work being implemented to improve communities and public spaces across the state.”
“EQT and the EQT Foundation are excited to partner with America250PA to help showcase the spirit of volunteerism in communities across Pennsylvania,” said Ellen Rossi, President of the EQT Foundation. “Over the next several years we are eager to see our beautification efforts increase the viability of rural and urban communities across the state, as well as become more deeply engaged with our neighbors.”
The 2023 Pennsylvania Day efforts expanded across the following counties: Adams, Allegheny, Armstrong, Berks, Cameron, Chester, Clinton, Dauphin, Erie, Greene, Lackawanna, Lawrence, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mercer, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Warren, Westmoreland, and York.
In total in 2023, America250PA, Feeding Pennsylvania, and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful recruited 467 volunteers
who accomplished the following:
- Packed 20,459 pounds of goods, resulting in about 4,252 boxes
- Sorted 5,980 pounds of goods
- Helped provide market goods/groceries to over 127 families
- Labeled 3,060 cans of corn
- Cleaned, refurbished, painted and/or replaced outdoor fences, bulletins, buildings and more
- Removed over 6 barrels of weeds and filled planter boxes
- Removed more than 50 bags of trash from various locations
- Recycled 20,000 K-Cups
America250PA was grateful for the generous volunteer participation from various Pennsylvania government offices including: The Office of United States Senator Bob Casey; Pennsylvania Auditor General Timothy DeFoor; Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Carolyn Nichols; Office of Congressman Guy Reschenthaler; Office of Congressman Matt Cartwright; Office of Congresswoman Susan Wild; Office of Governor Josh Shapiro; Senator Maria Collett; Senator John Kane; Senator Judy Schwank; Office of Senator Rosemary Brown; Office of Senator Marty Flynn; Rep. Jill Cooper; Rep. Donna Oberlander; Rep. Jared Solomon; Rep. Parke Wentling; Office of State Rep. Bridget Kosierowski; Office of State Rep. Kyle Mullins; Cameron County Commissioner Lori Reed; Cameron County Commissioner Ann Losey; Chester County Commissioner Marian Moskowitz; Chester County Commissioner Michelle Kichline; Chester County Commissioner Josh Maxwell; Sullivan County Commissioner Darlene Fenton; York County Commissioner Julie Wheeler; York County Register of Wills & Clerk of Orphans’ Court, Bryan Tate; York County Recorder of Deeds, Laura Shue; Erie County District Attorney, Elizabeth Hirz; Crawford Township Officials; Ellwood City Borough Officials; Sugarcreek Township Officials; and Watson Township Officials.
America250PA also received generous volunteer participation from various Pennsylvania businesses and organizations, including: EQT Corporation; Feeding Pennsylvania; Highmark; The GIANT Company; Pennsylvania State Police; The Miss America Organization; FS Investments; Independence Blue Cross; The Pennsylvania State Society Daughters of the American Revolution; DiscoverNEPA; Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett, P.C.; Jefferson Educational Society; AT&T; Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; Manor College; Hamilton Lane; The Wright Center; Adams County Historical Society; CNX; Hilltop Packs; and more.
Learn more about America250PA and Pennsylvania Day at https://america250pa.org/PPE:_PA_Day
The Pennsylvania Commission for the United States Semiquincentennial (America250PA) was established by the legislature and Governor in 2018 to plan, encourage, develop and coordinate the commemoration of the 250th Anniversary of the founding of the United States, Pennsylvania’s integral role in that event, and the impact of its people on the nation’s past, present, and future. The Commission is made up of current and past Pennsylvania leaders, celebrating the rich history and diversity of the state.
America250PA hopes to engage all citizens of the Commonwealth, from each of its 67 counties, to participate in creating a statewide celebration and bringing the Commonwealth’s history into the conversation. Together, we hope that as Pennsylvanians, we can better understand the origins and multiple perspectives of issues facing our Commonwealth and nation today. The Commission’s ability to communicate its vision, engage various audiences, and encourage inclusive and cohesive participation is key to a successful America250PA. The visionary framework – especially our E.P.I.C. theme of Educate, Preserve, Innovate, and Celebrate, contains the essential messaging to bring the Semiquincentennial to life across the Commonwealth.
About Feeding Pennsylvania
Feeding Pennsylvania is a collaborative effort of nine Feeding America-affiliated food banks in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The mission of Feeding Pennsylvania is to promote and aid our member food banks in securing food and other resources to reduce hunger and food insecurity in our communities and across Pennsylvania and to provide a shared voice on the issues of hunger and food access within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. For more information about Feeding Pennsylvania, please visit www.feedingpa.org, connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FeedingPennsylvania, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @FeedingPA.
About Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s vision is a clean and beautiful Pennsylvania. Since 1990, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful has worked with hundreds of thousands of volunteers across the state to pick up nearly 155 million pounds of trash from Pennsylvania’s roadways, waterways, greenways, vacant lots, forestlands and other community spaces. Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s core programming focuses on litter and illegal dump prevention, cleanup, community greening, and proper waste handling and sustainable practices. Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful works with many partnering organizations on the state and grassroots level to accomplish our goal of a clean and beautiful
Pennsylvania. Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is the state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, Inc., the nation’s largest volunteer-based community action and education organization. To learn more about Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, visit www.keeppabeautiful.org.
Executive Director, America250PA