Celebrating our Founder this Women’s History Month

While our founder, Pam Rainey Lawler, was at the Hay Group in marketing communications, she noticed the volume of left-over perishable foods often generated by restaurants, caterers, farmers’ markets and small grocers. Concerned about the growing problem of domestic hunger, she conducted research and found that no one else was addressing this particular aspect of food waste and re-use.


Pam loading a food donation to her Subaru.

After talking with those in the food industry and in the emergency food network, she discovered that food was not being collected because there was no middleman picking up and delivering this healthful surplus to those in need.


Pam took a hiatus from her job to create the operational model and transportation system that would respond to business while being sensitive to the needs of the agencies serving the poor. She incorporated and got her 501(c)(3). Coming up with a name was the last piece of that initial process.


Initially, Pam tried to figure out how to incorporate the word cornucopia into the name, as she felt it captured what they were doing. Or maybe Urban Gleaners.


Pam’s husband, Denis, a trial attorney, “who had momentary flashes of genius,” suggested Philabundance. And from then on, it stuck.


She worked with Preston Williamson, a designer, to come up with the logo. Because there was so much surplus food in the city, he had the image of a basket. And that’s how the logo was born.


The first Philabundance logo on a delivery truck.


In the 90s, it was updated to its current form with fewer “basket weaves” underneath the name, and the font was changed, but with such a changing – and growing – organization – it was apropos.



Current Philabundance logo.



This Women’s History Month Philabundance is highlighting the many women who help lead us in our fight to end hunger for good. Follow us on social media or check out our blog to see more.



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