United Way's "The Big Cheese Project" Helps Fight Local Hunger




For more information, contact:

Christine Spanier, Director - Marketing/Communications

610-685-4588 or [email protected]


Release Date: June 4, 2015



United Way's "The Big Cheese Project" Helps Fight Local Hunger

Question: What do you get when you combine 300 community volunteers, mac and cheese fixin's and the desire to make a difference?

Answer: The Big Cheese Project

United Way of Berks County is hosting The Big Cheese Project, a community volunteer activity on Saturday, June 20. The event is drawing hundreds of volunteers, including families, corporate teams, youth sport groups and individuals, to assemble and package 100,000 meals to help fight hunger within our community. Each meal package is nutritionally balanced to meet recommended dietary guidelines and include all the dry ingredients to make six servings of mac and cheese. The packaged meals will be provided to the Greater Berks Food Bank, who will store and distribute the meals to local people in need. The packages have a two-year shelf life.

?The Greater Berks Food Bank is so appreciative of the amazing help being offered through The Big Cheese Project by the United Way of Berks County and the volunteers packing the meals. This donation could not come at a better time. We typically see an increase in need during the summer months because children, who receive weekday lunches and sometimes breakfasts at school, are now home for the summer. The meals provided through The Big Cheese Project will make a major impact on our efforts to insure local children, and all of our neighbors in need, stay nourished in the coming months,? says Peg Bianca, Executive Director.

"When we began planning The Big Cheese Project we were optimistic about recruiting 300 volunteers to help package 100,000 meals...even on a Saturday morning in June. Our optimism was right on target because we reached 300 volunteers in no time. This is another example of the great people of Berks County coming together to support a need within the community," says Tammy White, President of United Way of Berks County. "We are looking forward to working with the volunteers to pack meals that will be donated to the Greater Berks Food Bank at a time of year when they can truly use the extra support to provide nourishing meals to local children and families."

United Way worked with Outreach, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing food, water and medical help throughout the U.S. and abroad. Outreach, Inc. organizes similar events throughout the country and provides the meals and supplies. Each meal costs 25 cents; costs were supported through United Way's community impact budget directed towards meeting basic needs.

The Big Cheese Project is one of many volunteer projects occurring the weekend of June 20 as part of the national Day of Action when communities around the world come together to LIVE UNITED and take action to address a community challenge.

Date and Time: The Big Cheese Project takes place on Saturday, June 20th. The project will take place from 9:00 am through 11:30 am.

Location: Penn State Berks, Beaver Community Center

Other: The community can follow the day's activities by following United Way of Berks County on Facebook and Instagram at #uwberks and #TheBigCheeseBerks