Philabundance appeals for corporate and community help for donations

PHILADELPHIA – July 28, 2010 – Philabundance, the region’s largest hunger relief organization, announced today a new appeal for food and financial donations. In light of the continued harsh economic conditions, the need for food is growing at a time when donations are declining.

Philabundance estimates that donations are down 20% this year and down 38% over two years. More and more families are suffering in the tough economy and cannot afford to donate money. Instead, many find themselves asking for food donations to help make ends meet.

Two weeks ago, the Philabundance Board of Directors underwrote a full page advertisement in the Philadelphia Inquirer to ask for help. At a news conference held at the Hunger Relief Center in South Philadelphia, Philabundance executives said the need for food just keeps growing not only in Philadelphia but across the region and the suburbs.

“The economic conditions have taken a toll across a broad spectrum of families, not just chronically poor but middle class people who live in the suburbs and are impacted by the recession,” said Alan Casnoff, Chairman of the Philabundance Board of Directors.. “Because the need is so great, the Board took the unprecedented step of paying for the ad and making a public appeal.”

After seeing the advertisement and learning about the critical shortage, the Citizens Bank Foundation has authorized an immediate $25,000 grant that will be used to purchase food. Philabundance can provide a meal for less than 30 cents so the donation translates into more than 83,300 meals for area children and families.

“After learning of the critical need for help, Citizens Bank wanted to be sure that we joined the campaign to fight hunger,” said Daniel K. Fitzpatrick, President & CEO of Citizens Bank. “The economic conditions have made it difficult for so many people and the need is especially acute during the summer months because children are not receiving meals through school feeding programs. We hope our gift will encourage other corporations and individuals to answer the appeal and respond to what is essentially meeting a basic human need.”

Philabundance is asking for the public to contribute by making a monetary donation at

Organizing a food drive to collect non-perishable items in your community or corporation will also help.Philabundance needs help

“We are truly grateful to the Citizens Bank Foundation for stepping up and answering our call for action,” said Bill Clark, President & Executive Director of Philabundance. “We will be able to put this money to immediate use by providing food to families across our nine county service area. I hope Citizens’ generosity inspires other corporations and individuals to consider making a donation.”

Summertime is a particularly difficult time for Philabundance because food donations typically drop and school children no longer receive meals through school lunch programs. Currently, more than 900,000 low-income residents of the Delaware Valley are at risk for chronic hunger. But the need among working class families is growing. More than one-third of households served by food banks had one or more working adults.

“If we had to go out and purchase food, it would be a critical situation because Philabundance provides about 75 percent of our produce and occasionally dairy and meat products,” said Debbie Realey, Executive Director of Touch New Jersey. “It’s particularly challenging because we are trying to reach out to people who won’t come into the city from the suburbs.”

About Philabundance
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 500 member agencies in nine counties. Philabundance provides food to approximately 65,000 people per week, at an aggregate cost of less than 30 cents per meal. In 2009, Philabundance distributed 17 million pounds of food in the Delaware Valley. For more information about Philabundance, call 215-339-0900 or visit

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