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Sean and Charlie: A Father-Son Duo Tackle Hunger

Posted by Brittany Barbato on May 2nd, 2016

Thursday, April 28, was National Take Your Daughters and Sons To Work Day. Community Capacity Building Manager Sean Breslin reflects on the experience of sharing his work with his son, Charlie: At home we’ve talked about what I do at work and what Philabundance does for the Delaware Valley, but no amount of breakfast table discussion can compare to having your child at your side supporting the community. So when I received a permission slip for Take Your Child to Work Day, I made plans to bring my 7-year-old son Charlie to Philabundance. Charlie and I left school around lunch time and ...

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Redemption Through Cooking

Posted by Stefanie Arck on April 26th, 2016

Richard K. went from being a successful entertainment lawyer to an inmate at Fort Dix Prison to a pastry chef at award-winning Zahav restaurant all within five years. He credits Philabundance Community Kitchen (PCK) for propelling him to where he is today. “I don't think I would have landed on my feet as quickly as I did without PCK.” In 2011, Richard was sentenced to five years at Fort Dix, a low-security federal prison in New Jersey, after being arrested for manufacturing marijuana. Prison life is extremely regimented; Richard was told when to eat, sleep and exercise, and while he had a ...

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It Takes a Village: Lessons on Volunteering from a Retired Educator

Posted by Brittany Barbato on April 20th, 2016

  Christine (Chris) Dziczek is a retired New Jersey Regional High School educator who taught Health and Physical Education and directed the athletic program for 37 years. Here is Chris’s story about why giving back is important, in her own words: I’ve always been a people person and I needed to fill a void in my life after I retired. I knew I wanted to volunteer now that I had the time, but wasn’t quite sure where to start. Each Thanksgiving, my nephew and his wife always talked about WMMR’s Preston and Steve Camp Out for Hunger which benefits Philabundance. This inspired ...

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National Volunteer Week 2016: Philabundance Staff and Causes They Care About

Posted by Brittany Barbato on April 13th, 2016

More than 20,000 individual volunteers help offset Philabundance annual costs by $1.5 million. Our staff know just how vital volunteers can be to an organization and that's why they donate their time and talent to other organizations through our Staff Volunteer Program and on their own time, too. Here's a sampling of causes they care about: Emma Kornetsky, Government Relations Associate: “I coach soccer to U-9 girls in the Kensington Soccer Club. It is a way to get to know my neighbors as well as provide my expertise and time for the benefit of the community (which provides me with so ...

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Staff Volunteer Program Cultivates Collaboration, Builds Community

Posted by Brittany Barbato on April 11th, 2016

“In addition to furthering Philabundance’s organizational mission, staff employee volunteer programs have been proven to provide opportunities for employee development, encourage teamwork, improve communication, build brand awareness and improve employee retention,” says Manager of Direct Programs Hilary Stiebel, who also co-leads a new Philabundance initiative called the Philabundance Staff Volunteer Program. The employee-organized program is designed to increase collaboration among Philabundance colleagues while also increasing the positive impact employees make in the Delaware Valley, thus working toward our mission to “end hunger forever.” A committee of five to 10 employees coordinate the program, rotating the responsibility of coordinating one event for staff ...

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West Philly Food Pantry Volunteer Sees Change in Those Served

Posted by Brittany Barbato on April 8th, 2016

Linda is a former data analyst with a keen eye for improving efficiencies (and a warm heart for making a difference). After being a member of the Grace Lutheran Church in West Philadelphia for more than 40 years, she accepted an opportunity to run the church’s food distribution program, a Philabundance member agency, 16 years ago when she retired from her full-time position. Its Thursday food distribution alone serves approximately 300 people each week. Linda says over the years she and her team of dedicated volunteers – including her granddaughter, Linda Jr. Jr. – have seen a change in the individuals ...

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A Front Seat View of Hunger

Posted by Amanda White on March 31st, 2016

  As part of Philabundance’s new member orientation, employees have the opportunity to visit the majority of Philabundance’s innovative programs and initiatives developed since its inception in 1984. One especially unique experience is having the opportunity to “Ride Along” with one of our truck drivers to pick up and deliver food to those in need— which I did! Chris, one of our 10 drivers, and I, left Philabundance at 6 AM sharp and spent eight hours on the road. Our first stop was the Produce Interchange, a fully-refrigerated wholesale produce terminal that receives and sells hundreds of truckloads of fresh produce on a ...

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Scrambled Eggs Lead to Success for Philabundance Community Kitchen Grad

Posted by Brittany Barbato on March 28th, 2016

  Crack. Sizzle. Whisk. Voila! These are the sounds of Philabundance Community Kitchen (PCK) Graduate Steve Parr’s earliest memory of cooking. When Steve was just 6-years-old, his father taught him how to make scrambled eggs; he was in awe of how one could take something raw in a hard shell and turn it into something completely different, and delicious. Growing up in an underserved neighborhood in North Philadelphia meant life wasn’t always sunny-side up. Steve faced tough decisions throughout his childhood that left him feeling like there was no hope. After losing a job as a sales associate at Old Navy, his ...

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Chef Hugo Campos, Out of The Kitchen

Posted by Brittany Barbato on March 23rd, 2016

Name: Hugo Campos Philabundance Job Title: Chef Instructor, Philabundance Community Kitchen Where were you born? I was born in El Salvador, but moved to a suburb of Los Angeles when I was three years old. Are you fluent in Spanish? ¡Sí! How did you get involved in the culinary industry? When I was a teenager, I was offered a job in the dish pit by the restaurant manager who I am now proud to call my mentor. I fell in love with the people and environment of the restaurant, where I was able to move up to line cook when I was 18. I ...

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Produce and Perseverance in Paulsboro

Posted by Brittany Barbato on March 17th, 2016

An emergency medical technician, a single mother to three boys, a caring co-worker, a kind friend — Theresa is many things to many people, but she says a “quitter” is not one of them. Theresa had to separate from her husband after 27-years of marriage when he became addicted to drugs. Shortly thereafter, her mother passed away. She says her life seemed impossibly tough, but her kids inspired her to carry on. “I’m a single mom now with no family besides my kids. I’m just one person. It’s hard sometimes,” says Theresa. “But I’m not a quitter – I set goals and ...

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