Arthur estimates that just last year the Food Bank saved 14.5 million pounds of food that was supposed to be sent to landfills.
"That's the average for a tractor trailer to load one day, 365 days a year," he noted.
Since the beginning of the crisis, the Food Bank has distributed more than 28 million pounds of food to those in need in the countries it serves.
"From March to June, we distribute 47 percent more food to people in need in Central Pennsylvania, which is an additional seven million meals." Arthur said, recording it above the figures for the previous year.
As the pandemic continues, with rising unemployment benefits that continue only until the end of next week and new mitigation orders issued by Governor Tom Wolf this week, citizens face more unemployment and the Food Bank anticipates a longer recovery period.
"We certainly understand what the government is doing in the health sector to help reduce this COVID-19, but it creates an already severe economic impact. We have a concern that the period of economic recovery will be very broad. So, we really prepared a few years for the continuation of the high demand for food aid that we see now, " Arthur said.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Food Bank has expanded its food rescue efforts to adapt to disruptions in the food chain. In the past, Food Bank programs included saving food from producers and producers and linking their food pantry with local retailers to pick up excess food. They also work by distributing federal government-funded food and managing state Agricultural Surplus System grants that save food from local farmers and distribute it throughout the state's charitable food system.
Since the pandemic began, the Food Bank expanded these programs and added the USDA's Farmers to Families program and began working with Operation BBQ Relief to convert large-sized restaurants and food items into family-sized fast food.
"Such programs are very helpful. That's a lot of healthy food that helps fill in some gaps, " Arthur said.
"There are ongoing challenges with certain dry goods," he acknowledged, adding that this would include canned vegetables and fruits and the types of products.
To offset the challenge of getting these types of food, Arthur said that the Food Bank is replacing fresh produce in Farmers' food boxes for families. He noted that they had received large amounts of milk and milk products and an adequate supply of meat.
When the federal government was debating whether to issue a second stimulus package to alleviate the economic crisis, Arthur said that the Food Bank was worried that without the help of additional financial struggles for many people it would continue and improve.
"Our concern is that if the aid packages are not strong enough, we might see people struggling to pay their rent because of the job loss situation that occurs when we speak. For us it is more concerning, " he says.