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Week 12: Fueling Our Future with Fresh Food

Posted by Guest Blogger on August 27th, 2014

In order to keep young active minds sharp and focused, it is essential to fuel them with nutritious meals so that they have the energy to keep going. Research proves that having a belly full of healthy, fresh foods improves student’s performance, memory, and even school attendance.  That’s why we created KidsBites, a Philabundance initiative to serve nutritious foods for children and their families. Diane Gillen, a teacher at Lowell Elementary school ( which is a KidsBites distribution site), shares how hunger is affecting the children in our community, and how Philabundance is working with local schools to keep students happy ...

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Fueling Our Future with Fresh Food

Posted by Hilary Stiebel on August 26th, 2014

Back to school is an exciting time of year for many students - the hot summer days are behind us, and the beauty of the changing leaves lies just ahead. Most students come back refreshed from their summer vacation and ready to learn new things. For some children, back to school also means they are going to get meals more regularly. Sadly, many children in our region are going back too hungry to focus on their school work. Luckily, they can often rely on school breakfast and lunch programs to keep hunger at bay. Additionally, initiatives like Philabundance’s KidsBites help local families ...

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Cooking On a Budget: A Simple Summer Meal By Chef Stephen Wilson

Posted by Stephen Wilson on August 14th, 2014

For many of us, summer is associated with good and plentiful eating.  Whether it is meals cooked on the grill, picnics down the shore, or the bounty of fruits and vegetables at the neighborhood farmers market, summer is not a time most associate with going hungry.  The fact of the matter, however, is that nearly 300,000 kids in the Delaware valley run the risk of going hungry this summer because their free or reduced lunch from school is not available and their parents or guardians struggle to find the funds to put summers bounty on the table. Being a chef, I ...

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Having a Hand in the Fight Against Hunger

Posted by Guest Blogger on August 14th, 2014

Because hunger is community wide problem that requires a community wide solution, Philabundance is constantly working on new initiatives to provide access to food throughout the Delaware Valley. Our seasonal gleaning program is a unique way to increase the amount of produce available for distribution to our agencies. In 2012, Philabundance began exploring different ways local farms and members of our agricultural community could partner to increase the amount of accessible produce. Since the program started, four farms and one student garden have committed to donating surplus produce, providing local families with fresh food. During FY13, our gleaning program, combined with ...

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Uniting To Help Our Neighbors in Need

Posted by Patrice Bendig on August 7th, 2014

Fighting hunger across the Delaware Valley region is a community wide effort. Philabundance works with a network of over 450 member agencies across our region to ensure that neighbors in need have access to food. Our agency partners are on the front lines every day, and make sure that food gets into the hand of community members who need it the most. Seeds of Hope Food Pantry is one of our agency partners located in Dresher, Pennsylvania. Each week, the food pantry serves over 200 neighbors. Sandy Knight, Director of Seeds of Hope, share how Philabundance makes sure that their pantry stays ...

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Week Nine: Paying It Forward

Posted by Patrice Bendig on July 24th, 2014

Philabundance is proud to partner with over 500 agencies across the Delaware Valley. The ever-evolving network of agencies and direct neighborhood distribution programs has enabled Philabundance to address the complex factors of food insecurity by distributing more emergency food into the hands of our neighbors who need it most. Veronica shares how Philabundance helped during difficult times, and how she was able to pay it forward within her community.  Veronica Underwood has traveled the world, singing with artists like Celine Dion and Patti Labelle. She once held a record deal with Atlantic Records and you can even buy her songs on ...

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Week 8: The Empowerment of Giving Back

Posted by Patrice Bendig on July 17th, 2014

The Philabundance Community Kitchen (PCK) was founded in 2000, as an adult culinary arts vocational training program that supplies critically needed meals to agencies and area emergency kitchens serving people with food insecurity.  PCK promotes the self sufficiency of low-income women and men by preparing them to work in commercial kitchens. The career-targeted 14-week program provides nearly 500 hours of culinary arts training and also offers exposure to guest chefs, catering opportunities and off-site internships. This week we share the story of Louis, a 2013 PCK graduate. Louis Valchez has turned his life around. When he was younger, Louis was on ...

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School’s Out for Summer, But Hunger Never Takes a Vacation

Posted by Jordyn Kimelheim on July 11th, 2014

America’s schools aren’t just places for kids to learn—they’re also major hunger-relief providers. In 2012, the National School Lunch Program provided 31 million children each school day with a nutritious mid-day meal, giving them the fuel they need to succeed in their studies. Millions of children also receive breakfast and snacks at their schools. Our region is no exception, as 42% of children in Philabundance’s Pennsylvania and New Jersey service areas receive free or reduced price meals during the school day.  In the midst of an epidemic of child hunger—according to Feeding America, 1 in 5 American children suffered from ...

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Week 7: The Power of Kindness

Posted by Patrice Bendig on July 10th, 2014

This week we share the story of Nikki Johnson-Huston, who experienced childhood hunger first hand growing up. She shared her perspective at our 2013 Hunger Symposium.   A large part of my childhood was spent battling hunger, food insecurity, poverty and sometimes homelessness. When people ask me how growing up in those circumstances impacted my life, I tell them that it made me someone I would not have otherwise been. I spent many days hungry, scared and not knowing where my next meal would come from or where I might be living on a particular day.  When I was young I didn’t understand what ...

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Week 6: Community Partners in the Fight Against Hunger

Posted by Patrice Bendig on July 1st, 2014

Since opening our doors 30 years ago, Philabundance and our partner agencies, which consist of food pantries, emergency kitchens and shelters, have seen tremendous growth in the amount of people needing emergency food assistance. We have seen 143% more people coming to us for food over the last four years and we don’t anticipate the need slowing down at all. It is hard to believe that three decades later we are working harder than ever to provide nourishment to nearly 900,000 people in the Delaware Valley who don’t know where their next meal will come from. Without the support of community ...

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