Many children in our region rely on meals served at school to provide the nutrition they need to learn and grow. However, after school, on weekends, and especially during summer breaks, consistent access to fresh, healthy food may become unavailable.
Like many organizations, Philabundance had to adjust distribution operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the process, we learned a lot about the needs of our community. We continue to learn, adjust, and adapt to ensure we are meeting those needs safely and efficiently throughout the full calendar year. We have focused on tailoring children’s programs over the summer, as families in our service area may face an average increase of $300 per week replacing the meals their children would usually receive at school.
Together with the assistance of partner agencies throughout our nine-county Pennsylvania and New Jersey service area, Philabundance will be running programs to distribute nutritious food—including prepared lunches, healthy snacks, and fresh produce—to children and families each week over the summer months.
We are proud to introduce Let’s Eat, our eight-week summer initiative which will provide unique, healthy, culturally responsive meal kits to families in need and encourage preparing and eating together. The kits feature recipes from local celebrity chefs, as well as our very own Philabundance Community Kitchen, and a space of the fresh and shelf stable products needed to make 16 different meals! Let’s Eat will distribute 2,000 kits per week via community-based locations in our service area. This translates to 250,000 meals!
Passing the Love
We were inspired to continue the success of last year’s Pass the Love w/ Waffles + Mochi collaboration with Partnership for Healthier America (PHA) and Honorary Chair, Michelle Obama, and Higher Ground Productions. This campaign surpassed its goal of distributing one million healthy meals to families facing food insecurity across the country. Philabundance distributed nearly one quarter of that total to 5,000 families through 25 locations throughout the Philadelphia area.
Educating Our Future
Ensuring children have access to healthy, nutritious food is only one part of the work we do within the school system. Our dedicated staff is always ready to educate the next generation of community members as well! Recently, Katie Gunter, MS, RDN, LDN, Nutrition Educator in our Ending Hunger For Good program, and Kate Colyer, Manager, Retail Rescue, in our Food Sourcing department, had an opportunity to speak with a fourth-grade class at Perelman Jewish Day School about Philabundance’s work fighting food insecurity. After hearing how people, including children like them, across our area face hunger every day, the students organized a food drive for Philabundance. Thanks Katie and Kate, for taking the time to raise awareness and inspire generosity!
We are so grateful for our donors, community partners, and volunteers, whose generosity allows us to continue serving families, children, seniors, and anyone struggling with food insecurity in our community. Hunger doesn’t take a summer vacation… and neither does Philabundance!
For more information on children’s programs and other ways in which Philabundance drives hunger from our community, visit our website www.philabundance.org.