Our Start

Philabundance began with one person rescuing food with their Subaru. For nearly 40 years, that operation has grown to covering nine counties across two states with a fleet of trucks and vans.

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OUR History

In 1984, Philabundance was founded by an idealist named Pamela Rainey Lawler who saw perfectly good food going to waste, and at the same time, saw people going hungry.

Pam launched her initiative to bridge the gap between that surplus of food and neighbors in our communities struggling with food insecurity. What started out as a small food rescue organization operating out of her Subaru, 35+ years later, is an innovative, impactful and collaborative organization distributing more than 50 million pounds of food a year to those in need of emergency food services.

Philabundance is a proud member of Feeding America, a nationwide network of food banks leading the fight against hunger in the United States.

Philabundance Today

Philabundance has a commitment to learning more about how best we can serve and uplift those facing food insecurity. As a result, we continue to expand our programs, invest in the futures of our neighbors in need, and advocate for programs that advance our communities.

Since our founding, some major milestones include:

  • Starting Philabundance Community Kitchen (PCK), our culinary arts training and meal production program, in 2000.
  • 20 years later, successfully welcoming PCK home to their state-of-the-art training and production kitchen located in North Philadelphia in early Fall 2020.
  • Expanding our mission to include a focus on Ending Hunger for Good, a commitment to addressing the root causes of food insecurity, in 2019.
  • Shifting our operations and doubling our output of food in 2020 over the year prior in order to meet increased need from COVID-19, all while adhering to unprecedented restrictions, supply chain distributions, and much more.
  • Welcoming President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden to serve alongside our volunteers in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service in both 2021 and 2022.
  • And most recently, formally committing to our focus on providing our communities with the foods they know and love with the launch of our Good Food Policy in early 2022.