Community Partnerships Day 2023

On Thursday, June 1st, Philabundance hosted its first Community Partnerships Day at Xfinity Live in South Philadelphia. We invited our partners to send representatives to attend breakout sessions, which focused on informative topics such as nutrition in food pantries, grant writing, and identifying community member needs. Our guests also enjoyed speed networking sessions which provided a great opportunity to meet each other in person and share ideas, an awards ceremony, a panel discussion, and a Staff & Partner Social afterparty.

During a special award ceremony, Philabundance CEO Loree Jones Brown acknowledged that everyone in attendance is truly a Hunger Hero.

“We know that you are all individuals who are recognizing the challenges in your respective communities during this time of inflation and greater need and are providing food and other critical services to the people that you serve,” she said. “Our Hunger Heroes choose to make a difference, and in doing so, you have brought not just healthy food to the table, but nourishment to the community.”
Loree presented the following awards during the special ceremony:

2023 Small But Mighty Hero Award
Alexander McClure Elementary School

2023 Sustainability Hero Award
Victory Assembly of God

2023 Healthy Pantry Initiative Hero Award
Memorial Church of God

2023 Hunger Hero Award
Manna on Main Street

In addition, participants gathered for a highly educational panel discussion, moderated by Dorothy Wong, Chief Strategy Officer for Philabundance.

“Today is all about partnerships. We know that we cannot do this work if we do not do it together. The issue of hunger in our areas is too large to be taken on in a silo and through our partnership we are providing food to over 135,000 people each week. We have with us today churches, mosques, synagogues, non-profit organizations, and schools – entities with direct ties to their community, who are working together and with us to address the need,” said Dorothy.

Panelists included:

  • Barbie Izquierdo | Director, Advocacy – Neighbor Engagement, Feeding America
  • Dr. Zuline Wilkinson | Deputy Director, Bebashi Transition to Hope
  • Sheldon C. Good | Director of Development & Strategic Direction, Manna on Main Street
  • Dixie James | Vice Chair of Philabundance Board of Directors, and President, Central Region, Einstein Healthcare Network / Jefferson Health
  • John Gonzalez | Chief Operating Officer, Cathedral Kitchen

To mark the closing of an incredible day, Loree offered her heartfelt remarks for all in attendance.

“Thank you to all of our staff who helped to put this event together. We cannot do this work without them, and they truly stepped up to make today special,” she said. “I also want to thank our colleagues at Feeding America and the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank for spending time with us today. All of the panelists who just shared great insights and perspectives on partnerships, our partners who helped in the sessions, and of course Penn Community Bank for supporting this event.

Finally, I have to thank each and every one of our partners. I know you eachtook time away from your schedule to spend it here with us today.”

As a special Thank You, Loree invited everyone to an exciting, post-conference Staff & Partner Social held at the Broad Street Bullies restaurant for more conversation, delicious snacks, and fun teambuilding games!

Thank you again, from the bottom of our hearts, for the incredible work you do throughout the year. With your remarkable work, our “boots on the ground” as we say, we are able to reach millions of neighbors in need and provide healthy, delicious food to all who are facing food insecurity.

Let’s please give a huge round of applause for our 350+ Community Partners for their incredible support, dedication to the Philabundance mission, and for the astounding work they do each and every day to help us feed millions of neighbors in need in the Greater Philadelphia area!

To get a firsthand look at some of our Community Partners in action, read our recent blog and watch our videos highlighting a variety of Community Partners.

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