FreshDirect Presents Checks To Philabundance Food Cupboards
Fighting hunger is not limited to Third World countries or inner cities. It’s something many communities are battling, even in their own backyards.
In an effort to fight hunger from the inner city to the greater Philadelphia area, FreshDirect — an online retailer of fresh foods and grocery items — donated a total of $3,000 to three Philabundance food pantries in Montgomery County Feb. 15.
Philabundance is a nonprofit organization that provides food access to those in the Delaware Valley through partnerships with individuals, corporations and other organizations.
Each Philabundance pantry received a check for $1,000. Among the recipients were Catholic Social Service of Montgomery County in Norristown, Seeds of Hope Food Pantry at Chelten Baptist Church in Dresher and Berachah Church Food Cupboard in Cheltenham.
Representatives from the food pantries gathered outside the Berachah Church, located at 400 Ashbourne Road, as FreshDirect’s Philadelphia General Manager Paul Madarieta awarded them funds so they can continue to fight hunger.
“One of the core things [FreshDirect] believes in is giving back to the community and making sure folks have access to fresh foods,” Madarieta said. “We realize not everyone can afford that, so it’s really wonderful [we can partner with] Philabundance in what they do.”
With the FreshDirect donation, the Berachah food cupboard will be able to feed about 120 families for an estimated six weeks, said Jeannette Hood, head of food cupboard.
“With FreshDirect helping us out, we don’t have to worry about food,” said Jimmy Lewis, one of the volunteers at the Seeds of Hope Food Pantry. “We can now focus on getting to know the people.”
FreshDirect has donated a total of $9,000 to Philabundance, as well as 18,000 meals and 16,000 pounds of food, said Philabundance public relations coordinator Lindsay Bues.
The pantries honored were selected by Philabundance because of the growing needs in their communities.
“We also picked pantries that go above and beyond to serve those in need,” Bues said. “For instance, Berachah Church has a choice food pantry, which allows people to pick the food they want.”
For many people it’s hard to ask for help — the food choice style helps visitors preserve their dignity, Hood said.
“We have a diverse range of clients,” she said. “We have senior citizens and some people who work, but just can’t make ends meet.”
The Berachah food cupboard began about four years ago and serves approximately 100 people a week, Hood said. The cupboard is open Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and fresh produce is available Fridays from noon to 1 p.m.
“It is so easy to be focused on your own life and forget about what others go through,” Hood said. “It feels good to be able make a difference in people’s lives.”