Philabundance’s Jose Vargas on Service with a Smile

Posted by Stefanie Arck on December 22nd, 2016

Meet Jose Vargas, coordinator of Fresh for All – our free farmer’s market – and one of the friendliest faces a volunteer could encounter at Philabundance. How did you get started at Philabundance? I started as a Philabundance Community Kitchen (PCK) student in 2001. After graduating the program, I was offered a full time position at PCK. So my first time here was 5-6 years working as the staff cook supervisor and I was also supervising the mass meal production with about 5 guys. I came back to Philabundance in 2011 to work at the Community Food Center, a food pantry Philabundance ...

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Hunger Hits Montgomery County

Posted by Stefanie Arck on December 7th, 2016

“When you don't have much money, you can't get much, including the fruits and vegetables you need.” Barb Grote, 52. In the far reaches of Montgomery County bordering Bucks County, where new housing developments meet hundred year old farms, you’ll find the picturesque borough of Souderton where people pick fresh fruit off of their trees and sell it on their front lawn to passing travelers. Ironically, while some pick fruit, others don’t have any; Beyond the rolling green hills and corn fields, there’s a well-kept secret: hunger. Philabundance’s Fresh For All program is a travelling farmer’s market which sets up at the ...

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Advocacy Action Now: PA’s Government Fights Hunger, But More Can Be Done

Posted by Stefanie Arck on November 22nd, 2016

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has one budget line item which specifically aims to reduce hunger for the 1 in 7 Pennsylvanians who are food insecure. This budget line item includes two programs — the State Food Purchase Program (SFPP) and the Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System (PASS). This year, we are advocating for $21 million for SFPP and $5 million for PASS in the FY17-18 budget. While this may seem like a lot of money, it is a mere drop in the bucket that is Pennsylvania’s $31.5 billion budget. Learn more about these programs below, and then TAKE ACTION by signing ...

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Why We Advocate

Posted by Stefanie Arck on November 17th, 2016

Written by: Emma Kornetsky, Government Relations Associate Theresa’s job as an EMT doesn’t cover it all her bills. Joe’s social security benefits are never quite enough. Letitia is a single mom with epilepsy, making it difficult to work. These individuals rely on Philabundance for support each week and they were also kind enough, and strong enough, to share their personal stories. While the specific circumstances that led each of them to seek help from a Philabundance Member Agency or program are different, the simple truth is none of them have enough money – not from their income and not from government benefits ...

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Medical Student Faces Hunger, Finds Help with Fresh For All

Posted by Philabundance Digital Media on November 15th, 2016

In 2011, Ariana was a medical student at The Perelman School of Medicine, The University of Pennsylvania, facing a problem all-too common in healthcare: burnout. Smart and motivated, Ariana was also stressed and struggling to pay her bills. Ariana’s family in Brooklyn, NY, helped out when they were able, but they could only do so much from such a distance. Isolated and without income, Ariana realized she needed help. “I wasn’t able to study. I wasn’t able to work,” says Ariana. “I was running out of student loan money and I had no food in the apartment. Things just got really bad ...

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You’re Sharing Joy with Families in Need

Posted by Philabundance Digital Media on November 14th, 2016

Little Anthony, 2, can count perfectly to 10 — in both English and Spanish! With his smarts and easy smile, you’d never guess his family was struggling with hunger. His mother, La’Shorn, is raising Anthony on her own and enrolled him at a childcare learning center while she worked her housekeeping job. Pulling her son from the program is one of the many disappointments she has faced since she lost her job. Even when she was working full-time, La’Shorn often had a hard time stretching her paychecks to fill her empty cabinets. But since she was laid off, covering her and Anthony’s ...

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A Letter from Glenn – November 2016

Posted by Glenn Bergman on November 12th, 2016

I get especially excited about the great things your support makes possible at this time of year. The holiday spirit is evident throughout our community — in the number of food drives you host, generous turkey distributions at agencies and other efforts to bring joy to our neighbors in need. As I share a special meal with my loved ones this Thanksgiving, families like La’Shorn’s — who you’ll meet on page 8 — will be in my heart. Because friends like you choose to give, La’Shorn and her son, Anthony, have life-giving food throughout the year. I hope you’ll take a moment ...

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Sonja Is Thankful for Your Generosity

Posted by Philabundance Digital Media on November 11th, 2016

You help fill the tables of people facing all kinds of difficult circumstances. A temporary hardship, like a major car repair or brief stint of unemployment, only limits a family’s budget for a short while. Others can cause financial challenges for years. Just ask Sonja. Sonja and her husband often struggle financially, in part because their three little ones — Cassidy, James and Brandon* — all have special needs that require unique care and equipment. Both parents have full-time jobs with a cable provider, but their insurance doesn’t always cover the cost of their children’s medical treatments. For example, James, 5, must ...

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Kayla & Katie Are Hunger-Fighting Champions!

Posted by Philabundance Digital Media on November 1st, 2016

Although she was just 9 years old, when Kayla first learned about hunger in her community, she knew she had to do something to help. She decided to collect jars of peanut butter and jelly at her school to donate to Philabundance. Kayla has continued the effort each year, and this past February, her drive helped raise 1,200 jars. The only group to raise more was a large business! Kayla, now 11, is a shining example that you just need passion to make a real impact. Last year, Kayla volunteered more than 160 hours with both Philabundance and the You Are ...

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Your Support Helps Transform a Community

Posted by Philabundance Digital Media on November 1st, 2016

LaToya is a perfect example of how important it is for every community to have access to a grocery store. She works as a nurse and knows her family needs to eat a balanced diet full of fresh produce, dairy and protein. But as a single mom to her three children — ages four, six and eight — her tight budget makes it hard to afford the most nutritious foods. Your gifts help LaToya — and countless other neighbors — through programs like Fare & Square. As the first nonprofit grocery store of its kind in the nation, Fare & Square ...

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