How is the Pandemic Affecting Pennsylvania?

It’s not all “bad news.”

Amid the pandemic, I’m encouraged by glimmers of hope, innovative solutions, generous giving, thoughtful acts of kindness. They’re there. And I’m so very fortunate to have uncovered quite a few in my recent freelance assignments.

For example, hunger is a real issue for many. But innovative solutions are powering the unprecendented need faced by the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, which serves 27 counties, as I uncovered in “Hunger Pains” for TheBurg.

Additionally, many of us have shifted the way we purchase groceries–especially produce. That’s meant a surge in business for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs. I talked to Lucas Brownback of Spiral Path Farm, one of Central Pennsylvania’s largest and well-known CSAs for a story in TheBurg, “Agriculture Restructure.

Arts organizations are hurting. But Pennsylvania recently devoted $20 million of its federal CARES Act funding to lend a helping hand to the arts. As Matthew Herren, executive director of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra told me, “This is a powerful expression of Pennsylvania’s values—$20 million to arts and culture—that’s huge. We don’t only improve quality of life, but we all contribute to the state’s economy.” Details, in my story for TheBurg, Arts Aid.”

While many restaurants and small businesses will likely not survive the pandemic, others are finding silver linings. Harrisburg’s Harbour House Crabs ships seafood to every state in the country, every week. Their carryout and seafood shipping business is booming amid the pandemic. Learn more at Get Crackin’ with Harbour House Crabs for Susquehanna Style.

In Gettysburg, the opening of new restaurant Mela Kitchen was delayed due to COVID-19, but not even a pandemic could dim the star power and adaptability of a dynamic staff led by Chef Josh Fidler. He refers to the opportunity at Mela as the highlight of his 20-year career. “Adams County Says ‘Ciao’ to a Foodie Destination” was published in Celebrate Gettysburg.

Amid the pandemic, running has provided an escape–even therapy. Pennsylvania runners and experts weigh in, for “Run On: Amid pandemic, many find therapy on the run,” published in TheBurg. Additionally, real, “live” running events actually being scheduled and carefully managed are the exception to the rule. While nearly all 2020 running events were canceled, the Harrisburg Mile, Half Marathon and Marathon were/are taking place, as I wrote in “Harrisburg Mile Gets the Green Light” for TheBurg.

I am honored to be working on more exciting, interesting, pandemic-defying stories from Pennsylvania… see more, here.

 

 

 

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