Food Aid to Low-income Seniors in PA and the Delaware Valley Gets Big Bump

Philabundance is getting ready to almost triple the number of seniors helped through Senior Boxes

PHILADELPHIA — March 25, 2010 — In an effort to help seniors the USDA is expanding the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) to assist 18, 045 more seniors  in PA , which is equal to 4.3 million more pounds of food this year. Philabundance is gearing up to distribute 1.2 million additional pounds to seniors in the Delaware Valley in 2010.

Philabundance is looking to sign up 5177 new seniors for Senior Boxes (CSFP food) by April 23, 2010, in order for the food to remain in the region and serve those individuals in need. To qualify for the program, participants must be 60 years or older and have an income that is at or below 130 percent of the poverty line (see income eligibility below). Interested seniors should call 1.800.319.Food (3663) to be directed to a senior box location near them.  The additional Senior Boxes will start going into communities between May and June of 2010, depending on when individuals sign on to the program.

Boxes are approximately 40 pounds and contain canned and boxed food including vegetables, fruit, juice, pasta, milk, cereal, canned meat and a non-meat protein. Each box is also accompanied by fresh cheese. Philabundance packs and delivers Senior Boxes on a monthly basis to locations across the greater Philadelphia area. In 2009, Philabundance provided 3623 seniors with 43,476 senior boxes, and in 2010, Philabundance is ready to provide 8800 seniors with 74,538.

“Signing up 5,771 new seniors by the end of April is challenging, but Philabundance is poised to meet that challenge, said Bill Clark, President and Executive Director of Philabundance.  We are doing aggressive outreach across the Delaware Valley to sign-up seniors and senior centers, so that individuals aged 60-years and over can begin receiving the much needed monthly Senior Boxes to help them put food on their table.”

Philabundance has partnered with the Share Food Program of Philadelphia to build 2000 monthly senior boxes. Philabundance distributes Senior Boxes to a variety of local agencies, food pantries, senior centers and housing complexes.  To meet the need across the Delaware Valley Philabundance is actively looking to sign up more organizations serving seniors, such as senior centers.

Philabundance is reaching out to senior centers and residential buildings, food pantries, social service agencies and anyone serving the senior population to distribute 31,062 additional boxes every month to individuals 60 years-of-age or over in need of food assistance throughout the region. Pennsylvania has the second highest population of seniors in the U.S. after Florida. The Pennsylvania Association of Regional Food Banks (PARF) was tasked with allocating the increase in caseload for CSFP.  PARF is overseeing the certification process for the 18,045 new eligible seniors who are eligible to participate in the expansion of CSFP.  The certification process must be complete by April 23rd in order to place orders for the food needed to build the monthly boxes that will go in June of 2010.

(see table)

Signing Up Seniors
In an effort to sign up new seniors, Philabundance is holding a “Certification Day” at six of its Fresh For All sites in the Delaware Valley during the week of April 4.  No boxes will be given out those days, but seniors can sign up for the Senior Box program:

Fresh for All Certification Days
4/6 — Souderton, Pa., Grace Bible Church,Main St. & Summit Ave., 18964, Tues., 1-2 p.m.
4/8 — Philadelphia., Pa., Summerdale and Godfrey Ave., 19124, Thur. 10:30-11:30 a.m
4/9 — Philadelphia, Pa., Pennsport, Tasker and Front Streets, 19147, Fri., 1:30-2:30 p.m.
4/7 — Philadelphia, Pa., University City49th & Spruce St., 19143, Wed., 2-3 p.m.
4/9–Upper Darby, Pa., Christ Lutheran Community Church, 7240 Walnut St., 19082, Fri., 10:30-11:30 a.m.
4/9–Woodlyn, Pa., Delaware County Housing Authority, 1825 Constitution Ave., 19094 Fri., 5:30 -6:30 p.m.

About CSFP
CSFP  is a federally funded program, which works to improve the health of elderly people at least 60 years of age by supplementing their diets with nutritious USDA commodity foods. It provides food and administrative funds to States to supplement the diets of these groups.

About Philabundance
Philabundance is the region’s largest hunger relief organization fighting hunger and malnutrition in the Delaware Valley. Philabundance provides a full plate of services to close to 500 member agencies in nine counties, who serve approximately 900,000 low income residents. Philabundance provides food to approximately 65,000 people per week, at an aggregate cost of less than 30 cents per meal. In 2009 Philabundance distributed 17 million pounds of food in the Delaware Valley. For more information about Philabundance, call 215-339-0900 or visit

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