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Philabundance’s Edgewater Park Fresh For All Needs Volunteers

News Source: phillyburbs.com

EDGEWATER PARK — They show up faithfully every Tuesday in the name of food.

phillyburbs.com

Courtesy of Chloe Elmer, phillyburbs.com

Some of them give it out graciously, others receive it gratefully, and all of them leave the Abundant Life Fellowship Church parking lot with something.

Shirley Mungro of Willingboro gets a good feeling out of the deal.

“I just like people,” said Mungro, one of the volunteers who help the Philabundance mobile food bank location run smoothly.

As driving rain fell and a fierce wind blew, Mungro and others unloaded boxes from the Philabundance truck, registered and greeted the guests, and stacked folding tables high with blueberries, breads, cabbages, oranges, potatoes and other basics.

More people are needed to help out Philabundance’s township location, which is one of the Philadelphia-based food bank’s 12 Fresh for All produce sites in the area and the only one in Burlington County.

Volunteers distribute 3,500 pounds of food to 170 households every Tuesday afternoon in the parking lot of the Route 130 church. They work a two-hour shift, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Philabundance is run by staffers but relies heavily on volunteers to help its various programs, said Lindsay Bues, the organization’s public relations coordinator.

“We really would not be able to operate without them. They get to know the clients and keep them coming back,” Bues said.

The township’s site has distributed more than 805,000 pounds of food since it opened in November 2008. An average of seven new families register every week, Bues said.

Statistics reveal the increasing importance of food banks. A U.S. Census Bureau survey showed that 22,861 people in the county, or 5.2 percent of the population, lived below the poverty line in 2011, up 5.1 percent from 2010. That figure included 6,720 children. Statewide, 10.4 percent of the population, or 897,376 people, lived below the poverty line in 2011.

Touted as the region’s largest food bank, Philabundance was created in 1984 and merged with the Philadelphia Food Bank in 2005.

For information on volunteering, email volunteers@philabundance.org or call 1-215-339-0900.

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