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Week 8: The Empowerment of Giving Back

Posted by Patrice Bendig on July 17th, 2014

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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

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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

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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

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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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Week Four: Paula Thomason

Posted by Guest Blogger on June 25th, 2014

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When you think of Haddonfield in Camden County, you may think wealthy suburb, but 4-percent of the town’s population lives in poverty. Not so long ago, Paula Thomason was married. She had 6 kids and a thriving real estate career. But then her marriage fell apart and the real estate bubble burst. “The amount of income that we get just so radically dropped,” said Paula. She lost her house and her real estate license when she couldn’t keep up with the fees, and started taking whatever jobs she could find. She now works part time at a jewelry store but her hours were ...

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A Personal Experience with Childhood Hunger

Posted by Guest Blogger on June 17th, 2014

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While many families are looking forward to vacation, thousands of families are scrambling to figure out how to put food on the table over the next few months. There are more than 300,000 children in the Delaware Valley who are eligible for free and reduced meals in school.  More than 231,000 of those children live in Pennsylvania and nearly 72,000 children live in New Jersey all within Philabundance’s nine county service area in the Delaware Valley. These families rely on free and reduced meals during the school year and without access to those meals, it will be a challenge ...

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Week Three: Joe Mitsouras

Posted by Patrice Bendig on June 11th, 2014

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For Joe Mitsouras, the hours leading up to dinnertime were always filled with excitement. A time to cook together as a family and hear about what was going on in the lives of their six children. But when Joe lost his job two years ago, a time once devoted to food and family became one of daily uncertainty. Watch Joe's story on 6ABC's Faces of Hunger series, which originally aired in Fall 2012:    

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The Surge in Senior Citizen Hunger Insecurity

Posted by Guest Blogger on May 29th, 2014

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In honor of Older Americans month, Philabundance is highlighting the growing increase of senior citizens struggling with food insecurity. According to Feeding America, 1.1 million households with seniors living alone experience food insecurity. The number of seniors facing hunger is expected to increase by 50% by 2025. Philabundance is committed to getting vital nutrition to senior citizens in the Delaware Valley. Our Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) provides USDA-donated food to low-income seniors, ensuring that more seniors have access to shelf-stable foods to last throughout the month. Senior citizens like Irene Bartow, a 70-year old Bucks County resident, rely on CSFP to ...

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Senior Citizens Facing Food Insecurity Crisis

Posted by Jordyn Kimelheim on May 13th, 2014

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Of the 75,000 people Philabundance serves every week, roughly 16% are senior citizens. While Philabundance strives to help all Delaware Valley residents in need of food assistance, we know that hunger impacts senior citizens in ways that differ from our other neighbors in need. As May is National Older Americans Month, now is the perfect time to discuss senior hunger and how Philabundance works to address it. According to Feeding America, 4.8 million Americans over the age of 60 were food insecure in 2011. In fact, seniors as a demographic are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity. Many are out of the ...

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Cupcake Smash is Back!

Posted by Melissa Templeton on April 21st, 2014

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As I diligently prepare for its fourth year, the genesis of Cupcake Smash is worth telling. I come from a long line of Polish women who not only knew their way around a kitchen, but possess the inherent need to help others. This, coupled with my affection for competitive reality television of the culinary variety (I’m looking at you Candace Nelson and your fancy cupcake ATM), motivated me to bring my vision to life. The involvement of Philabundance seemed like a no-brainer. In my previous work life, I spent countless hours distributing an assortment of promotional samples to an abundance ...

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