The pandemic has altered day-to-day life for most of us, and Philabundance is no exception. With many working remotely, practicing social distance and limiting the number of people gathering at any given time, the traditional food drive model, like so many other events, went virtual! While a Virtual Food Drive has been an option for many years at Philabundance, it has become an increasingly popular option over the last two years. Individuals and teams can “shop” for food items online and after checkout, Philabundance turns the virtual donation into actual food for neighbors facing hunger in our community.

Topping the list of 170 virtual food drive teams for 2021 was Aro Biotherapeutics. Based right here in Philadelphia, Aro Biotherapeutics is a biotechnology company pioneering the development of tissue-targeted genetic medicines.

This is the second annual food drive for Aro Biotherapeutics. Alexandra Bruce, Associate Director, Project Management, served as Virtual Food Drive Team Leader for both. The company had approximately 20 employees in 2020. “Our critical work on discovering new drugs for rare diseases didn’t stop for COVID,” Alexandra explained. Due to the pandemic, half of the employees began working remotely, but scientists continued working on-site in the labs. Last year, the team nearly doubled in size, and has become accustomed to working in a hybrid model.

As she began to plan for the 2021 food drive, Alexandra challenged the now expanded team to also double their virtual food drive total, and the company encouraged employees to participate virtually.

“This proved to be a successful approach enabling everyone at Aro to get involved and give back to the community,” Alexandra noted.

Alexandra added that conducting a food drive was never a question, but the logistics of a traditional drive given pandemic-related restrictions was difficult. The virtual food drive option was a convenient solution and easy to set up. Navigating to the site, shopping and donating was even easier. The 2021 Aro Biotherapeutics Virtual Food Drive raised over $16,000! We are so grateful for the team’s support and generosity.

Visit the Donate section of our website to learn more about Virtual Food Drives or to start your own today!