A Day in the Life of Philabundance

Posted by on March 22nd, 2011

Most people are completely surprised when I tell them that Philabundance can provide a day’s worth of healthy nutritious food for less than $1.50 a day. As the Annual Giving Manager at Philabundance, I get to do two of my favorite things every day—tell amazing stories about the important work that Philabundance does and connect generous people to an organization that is changing lives.

At Philabundance, we are committed to stretching every gift we receive in hopes of feeding as many people in the Delaware Valley that we can each week. We value the trust each donor places in us when they make a gift.

Most people have seen our white and green trucks zipping around, delivering nutritious food to the hundreds of agencies in our communities. However, not as many people know about all the other ways that Philabundance uses contributions to increase food access for the thousands of hungry people in our neighborhoods.

At 8:30 am, the Food Help Line begins to ring. A dedicated bilingual Philabundance staffer will spend the next 8 hours connecting callers to food cupboards and pantries in their areas. If he can’t find an agency that is accepting new clients, the callers receive information about picking up an Emergency Food Box (E-box) to tide them over.  Both the Food Help Line and E-box program were expanded in 2008 when our donors heeded the call for help during our Emergency Relief Initiative.

Later in the morning, Philabundance’s network of 500 partner agencies begin to open their doors after receiving a delivery of hundreds of pounds of food from one of our trucks.  These agencies are our arms and legs, helping us push out 17 million pounds of food each year to the men, women and children who need it the most.

By noon, when most of us are ready to settle in for a yummy lunch, hundreds of neighbors in need have been served by one of our 12 Fresh For All sites, waiting to pick up fresh fruits, vegetables, and bread. Staffed by dedicated volunteers, Fresh For All sites are like farmers markets, they meet weekly at the same time and place, offering a variety of free fresh produce items as well as tips on how to prepare meals using the ingredients!

At 2:00 pm, the Philabundance Community Food Center (CFC) at 6th and Lehigh streets in Philadelphia, welcomes in its second shift of clients. Unlike  some food pantries that only provide clients with a box of assorted dry goods, CFC shoppers can choose from a wide range of items, including breads, dairy, and meats. Over 500 households, 98% of which are sitting right at or below the Federal Poverty Line, shop at the CFC each week.

Around 6:30 pm, a family is settling in at one of our agency kitchens for a hot meal, prepared by the students at the Philabundance Community Kitchen (PCK). Students at PCK learn valuable culinary skills while preparing close to 350,000 hot meals for families in need throughout the area each year.

Even late at night, your dollar continues to serve the community, as  our local Grocers Against Hunger (GAH) partner stores set aside surplus food for pickup and redelivery throughout the Philabundance agency network and to our own programs.

So, as you can see, the dollar of a generous supporter travels a pretty lengthy distance, from Southern New Jersey all to way to Coatesville,  gifts made to Philabundance are being stretched to their limits and changing the lives of our hungry neighbors every day. If you’ve already made a gift to help our fight against hunger, thank you! You’re making my job a little bit easier! If you haven’t, I hope you consider making one. Learn the different ways you can give, here!

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