A Quarter of Philadelphians are Food Insecure. What are we doing about it?
News Source: Grid Philly
By Alex Jones
On a blustery, sunny Friday she’s taken off of work, Melanie Hudson waits in line for food.
“I have a lot more month than money,” says Hudson, 46, who works with autistic teens at Upper Darby High School. Her 17-year-old daughter Veronica is an honors student at the school and plans to join the Air Force when she graduates.
In 2009, Hudson’s husband passed away after a brain aneurysm and left her a single parent. She lost a job she’d held for 15 years. And, during what was already a time of great hardship, Hudson suffered significant damage to her eyesight due to glaucoma.
These challenges meant that Hudson, who radiates a confidence and positivity that belies her past troubles, had to seek help to ensure that her and her daughter’s basic needs were met. “I was trying to figure out how to feed my family,” she says.
She sought out assistance from Philabundance and began patronizing its Fresh For All program, a sort of traveling farmers market that distributes fresh produce and other perishable foods like milk, bread and even meats at no cost to anyone who shows up during the one-hour distribution window. This morning, Philabundance volunteers and staff in green sweatshirts and orange safety vests keep trays and boxes of fresh vegetables stocked while clients fill shopping bags, totes and carts with portions of each item.