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Pennsylvania’s First Congressional District Is the 2nd Hungriest in the Nation

Philabundance provides relief to areas of North and South Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA — Jan. 28, 2010 — According to the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), Pennsylvania’s First Congressional District, which includes Chester, South Philadelphia, and parts of North Philadelphia, is among the hungriest in the nation.

The First District is second only to the 16th District in the Bronx, N.Y., for so-called “food hardship,” as measured by FRAC. FRAC is a national nonprofit in Washington, DC whose aim is to eradicate hunger. Yesterday, FRAC released the results of a public opinion poll named “Food Hardship: A Closer Look at Hunger, for the Nation, States 180 SMAs and Congressional Districts.”

“For the past two years Philabundance has been seeing the negative effects of the economy on the neighborhoods throughout the Delaware Valley, especially in the first district,” said Bill Clark, President and Executive Director of Philabundance. “The first district has historically lacked adequate agency coverage to provide the needed food assistance to the community. Philabundance intends to increase its government partnerships to bring even more services to Chester City and South Philadelphia.”

To meet the staggering need for food assistance, Philabundance has implemented several initiatives in the first district over the last three months in partnership with government officials, including:

The Community Food Center (CFC) – a choice food cupboard opened in November of 2009, to service the Fairhill and West Kensington communities, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Community Service. CFC allows clients to choose the food they want in a supermarket-style setting at no cost.

Fresh for All -In partnership with Representative Bill Keller, the Pennsport Fresh For All
location at Tasker and Front streets under I-95 is like a traveling farmer’s market that puts fresh produce into the hands of those in need, free of charge, every Friday from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Emergency Box – In conjunction with Senator Larry Farnese’s office, emergency food boxes are available to qualified residents in need in the First District. Residents can call 1-800-319-Food (3663) to be matched with a food assistance resource in their area. If resources are not immediately available, they receive a one time, 30 pound box of food, and future placement in the Philabundance agency network.

Using data from a survey of more than 500,000 Americans between January 2008 and December 2009, FRAC learned that more than 36 percent of households in the First District answered “yes” to the question, “Have there been times in the past 12 months when you did not have enough money to buy food that you or your family needed?” In the United States, 18.5 percent of households polled in the last quarter of 2009 answered yes, meaning that food hardship in the First District was at nearly twice the national level.
Philabundance is the region’s largest hunger relief organization fighting hunger and malnutrition in the Delaware Valley. Philabundance provides a full plate of services to close to 500 member agencies in 10 counties, who serve approximately 900,000 low income residents. Philabundance provides food to approximately 65,000 people per week, at an aggregate cost of less than 30 cents per meal. In 2008, Philabundance, distributed 17 million pounds of food in the Delaware Valley. For more information about Philabundance, call 215-339-0900 or visit www.philabundance.org.

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