Giant Food Stores helping Philabundance Spread the Love
By Lois Puglionesi, Times Correspondent
HAVERFORD >> Giant Food Stores is supporting Philabundance’s Spread the Love campaign in a characteristically big way. The Havertown store donated 3,240 jars of peanut butter and 100 loaves of bread to aid the cause on Tuesday.
Each 18-ounce jar of peanut butter will make about nine sandwiches, for a total 29,160 sandwiches.
Giant’s largess will boost an effort, undertaken in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, whereby Philabundance aims to collect 10,000 jars of peanut butter and jelly by Friday for distribution to economically disadvantaged neighbors in a nine-county area.
Stefanie Arck, senior manager for communications and public relations at Philabundance, said February is a time of year when donations are down and needy individuals are struggling to feed their families during the cold winter months.
“(Many must) make the difficult decision about whether they’re going to heat or eat,” Arck said. “So we embarked on this campaign for three weeks in February to collect plastic jars of peanut butter and jelly for our neighbors in need.”
Peanut butter is in high demand because it’s kid-friendly, a good source of protein and other nutrients.
“And a lot of our neighbors, unfortunately, can’t afford it,” Arck said.
Thanks to partners like Giant, Spread the Love is on track to meet its goal by week’s end, Arck said.
She noted that Giant’s generosity will spread even further, as lead campaign sponsor Glanzmann Subaru has offered to match all donations, jar for jar and dollar for dollar, up to $5,000 through Friday.
Giant Public and Community Relations Manager Christopher Brand said the company has a 20-year history of partnering with Philabundance, the region’s largest food bank. The Havertown store donated 1,000 frozen turkeys to Philabundance last November, and will kick off its Bag Hunger campaign in about two weeks.
Prior to sending off a Philabundance truck loaded with bread and peanut butter, Arck, Brand, Giant staff and employees gathered in the store lobby for a “peanut butter sandwich toast.” Giant provided a large tray of PB&Js, accompanied by milk courtesy of Starbucks.
Philabundance serves about 75,000 people per week in nine counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. One quarter are children. The organization provides services through neighborhood distribution programs and a network of about 500 member agencies.
Philabundance estimates that more than 900,000 people in the Delaware Valley are at risk for chronic hunger and malnutrition.
“It’s important that everyone out there donate as much as they can,” said Brand.
Ways to help: Donate plastic jars of peanut butter and jelly at the Hunger Relief Center, 3616 S. Galloway St., Philadelphia, 215-339-0900. Make an online donation of $20 at www.philabundance.org, which buys a case of peanut butter. Text “FOOD” to 41010 to give $10, which buys enough PB&J for 65 sandwiches.