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Shine a Light on Hunger This Holiday Season

Posted by on November 11th, 2013

The holiday season growing up was both magical and terrifying as my family at times struggled with food insecurity. There were times when I went without food as the holiday season drew closer and closer. However, as the holiday season came upon us, food was made available to us via donations by family, friends and people within our neighborhood. With limited food stamp benefits, it was hard for my mother to support a family of four with no job, as she was too sick to work. Although, food was not always consistently available throughout the year, my mother always went above ...

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SNAP Cuts Leave Local Families and Neighbors Struggling

Posted by on October 28th, 2013

Thanksgiving is a time for families to come together over a hearty meal and reflect on the past year’s blessings and challenges. But this November, many American families will have a much harder time putting food on the table. The increases in SNAP/Food Stamp benefits (also known as Food Stamps) provided by the “stimulus package” (the 2009 American Reinvestment & Recovery Act, or ARRA) will expire on November 1, leading to a SNAP cliff of across-the-board cuts to all recipients. In 2012, there were 259,741 households in the Delaware Valley receiving SNAP benefits. A household of four will lose $36 per ...

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What’s Your Recipe for Making a Difference?

Posted by on September 23rd, 2013

As a chef, my world revolves around food. While at work, I am constantly striving to create new dishes, keep up-to-date with food trends and working with my staff to maintain high levels of quality. When I’m not working, I’m usually figuring out where to eat, to keep the steady stream of inspiration flowing. For myself, and many of my friends, the idea of not knowing if you will be having a meal that day, would be a very new and scary experience. Coming from a small mid-western town of 9,000 people it makes me take a step back to think ...

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Perspectives on Hunger: Overcoming the odds to pursue a dream

Posted by on September 9th, 2013

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 was happening to my family but I knew that it wasn't how people were supposed to live. It felt like sometimes the world had ...

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Philabundance VISTAs: Making an Impact

Posted by on August 6th, 2013

Over the past year, Philabundance was very fortunate to have six AmeriCorps VISTAs working in several departments.  I sat down to speak with my fellow VISTAs to ask them, “what impact do you feel you made on the community during your AmeriCorps service with Philabundance?” I sat down with Jennifer Wright, our former Policy and Planning VISTA in the Government Relations Department. During her VISTA year at Philabundance, she assisted those working on local, state, and national levels in the fight against hunger. She also worked with the National CSFP Association to create a nationwide report on seniors’ access to federal ...

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Cook-up Support for Delaware Valley Families This Summer

Posted by on July 25th, 2013

With summer fun and barbecues in full swing, it can be easy to forget about a key issue we continue to battle in the Philadelphia region – hunger. More than 325,000 children in the Delaware Valley rely on free and reduced meals during the school year. These families need our help to ensure there is food on the table during the summer months. And, Philabundance needs our assistance more than ever, as the Delaware Valley faces a continual increase of families who can’t afford to cover the additional meals.  There are so many ways that you can contribute, whether it’s ...

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Get out and Glean!

Posted by on July 2nd, 2013

Gleaning is the practice of gathering leftover crops from a farmer’s field after their first harvest. The term dates back to the Bible, which instructed farmers to leave the corners of their fields unharvested to let “widows and peasants” come through to pick their own crops. Gleaning might be one of the earliest forms of hunger relief!  This ancient practice has been coming back into style lately, as recent studies have shown that 40% of food produced in the US goes to waste. Not all of this waste happens at the farm, but consumers’ demand for perfect- looking produce does mean that ...

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My Experience with Childhood Hunger

Posted by on June 10th, 2013

By Janine Erato The image some of us conjure up of someone who is food insecure, or in need of food, may be in the form of a homeless person, or someone who takes advantage of government programs when they really don’t need to. A few individuals may fit this stereotype, but most food insecure people in our country do not. They look just like you and me A food insecure person looks like the guy with whom you used to work or the man that used to coach your child’s little league team. She was your teacher, who grew too old ...

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“With great power there must also come – great responsibility!”

Posted by on May 22nd, 2013

In the first Spider-Man story ever written, Uncle Ben warns his nephew, Peter Parker (read: Spider-Man’s alter-ego) that as he grows from a boy into a man, he will both acquire the strength to harm and the choice to become a force for good. Although Peter initially rejects Uncle Ben’s advice, as he realizes the gravity of his superpowers, Peter adopts Uncle Ben’s parental direction as his guiding maxim. Hunger relief organizations like Philabundance work to ensure that our communities have access to the foods they need but we are unable to do so without strong federal policies supporting our fight ...

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The Perfect Weekend Breakfast – French Toast Royale

Posted by on May 13th, 2013

Have you ever looked around your kitchen cupboards and said, “There’s nothing good to eat!”?  As frustrating as the feeling can be, the harsh reality is that many people in the Delaware Valley actually don’t have enough to eat and struggle to put food on the table. When you think of it that way, you quickly realize that you just need to get a little more creative with the food you DO have in your kitchen cupboards. One of my favorite breakfasts on a lazy Sunday morning is making French toast.  This dish was originally created as a way to use ...

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