Prevention Produce | Refugee Initiative

a program of the Farmers Market in Hershey & Summer Concert Series, a project of TFEC’s, fiscal sponsor

Refugees from around the world are resettled to the United States as a result of political and economic instability, violence, and/or fear of persecution. Pennsylvania has taken in 934 refugees from across the globe this past year alone. They arrive here in pursuit of better lives for themselves and their children, but many struggle with language barriers, finances, and finding support.

Food as Medicine

We are a group of students in a “Food as Medicine” program at the Penn State University College of Medicine who are involved with ten Syrian families recently resettled in our community. Since 2016, we have worked to ensure proper nutrition for the families as they have adjusted to life in a new country. Each Friday afternoon, our team of medical students transports the families to the local Broad Street Market in Harrisburg where we assist them in buying fresh produce. Additionally our activities have included gathering, organizing, and distributing personal donations, and raising awareness of the needs of our families amongst our colleagues. We are also holding weekly tutoring sessions for the children of the families who have experienced breaks in their education.

We Need Your Help

Catholic Charities of Harrisburg has been an excellent primary short-term support system for refugees here in south-central PA; however, the needs of resettled families extend far beyond what Catholic Charities alone is able to provide. Keeping up with rent, heating and utility costs, food, clothing for multiple children, medical expenses, educational expenses, household supplies, and myriad other needs (e.g. lack of access to transportation, language skills) simply outpaces available resources, to make no mention of the difficult transition to the culture of a new country.
Now, we are asking for your help in making Harrisburg a permanent home for these families. All funds raised will be used to address the above needs and those that emerge as families continue to acclimate to Central Pennsylvania. We are hoping to grow our program and extend our efforts to include refugees from other points of origin who are settling in Central PA. Your donation will allow us to provide weekly donations of fresh produce to more families in our region who are struggling to acclimate to their new home. If you are interested in donating clothes, household supplies, or other resources, please contact Danny George at drg21@psu.edu.

Click below for brief biographies of some of the families with whom we are working.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mohammad, Elham, and their six children

 

 

 

 

 

 

Khalid, Fatimah, and their three children

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ali, his wife,and their six children

Since we’ve began writing this appeal at the beginning of December, six additional families have approached us for help, with some arriving as recently as mid-December. This brings our total to over 60 persons. To conclude, these are 60+ people who have dropped and risked everything to begin a new life here in the United States. Let’s do our part to properly welcome them to their new home.

 

Thank you for considering a donation!

 


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