HARRISBURG, Pa. - One of the main draws of the Pennsylvania Farm Show is the food, but as the show draws to a close, not everything gets eaten.
You'll be glad to know that leftovers end up in the careful hands of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, which has partnered with the Farm Show for almost 20 years.
The food bank expects to receive about 6,000 pounds of leftover produce, and new this year, bidders at the livestock auction had the option of donating the beef and pork products from their purchases to the food bank.
"Just the donations from the Farm Show itself, all that food that's probably something like ten or twelve-thousand meals worth of food, great food, Pennsylvania farm food," Joe Arthur, the food bank's executive director, said.
The Department of Agriculture says it has renewed its efforts to make sure any usable food that has not been consumed goes to the food bank.
"We're proud of the food, we come to the Farm Show to enjoy the food, but you don't want to waste it," Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding said. "So we get a chance to get that into the hands of the food bank and they put it back out to the families that need it."
Unused food from the food court and other catering efforts also gets donated to the food bank. The partnership is mutually beneficial, Redding and Arthur said.
"You can't have a charitable food system without a food system that's charitable, so this connection between production agriculture, those who produce it with those who consume it is a really important part of this week and something we should celebrate," Redding said.
One exception that does not go to the food bank is leftover milk, which instead goes to local farmers who use it to produce cheese, Redding said.