Philabundance Donations Down While Need Is Up
By Kara Seymour
Philabundance, a hunger relief organization that serves Bucks County, says its donations are down significantly from last year. Newtown Patch chatted with them to learn how local residents can help.
Too many hungry mouths and not enough food to feed them: that’s the predicament Philabundance is facing.
Philabundance, a hunger relief organization serving nine counties in the Delaware Valley, including Bucks, has seen a 66 percent increase in need over the past two years coupled with a 67 percent decrease in food donations compared to this time last year.
According to the organization, poor global weather conditions are driving up the demand and cost of fresh fruits and vegetables. Plus, higher gas prices have put a strain on industry donors that typically donate produce to Philabundance.
Newtown Patch chatted with Lindsay Bues, Philabundance’s public relations coordinator, to learn what communities like ours can do to help. Here’s what she said:
Patch: What types of items does Philabundance need the most?
Philabundance: We are in need of nonperishable canned food items like tuna, creamy peanut butter, jelly in plastic containers, macaroni and cheese, and canned green beans. You can find a complete list of food items Philabundance collects here. Philabundance is also always happy to accept monetary donations and we always encourage volunteers to come down to our warehouse to volunteer when they can.
Patch: How can communities like Newtown help?
Philabundance: There are so many ways a community like Newtown can help, including holding a benefit, a food drive, a competitive high school food drive, fund drives, and even coin drives. Philabundance’s Hunger Relief Center can also hold up to 50 volunteers at one time and offers evening and Saturday shifts. This is a perfect opportunity for community members to get together and make a difference. Also, you can check out our events page for benefits in your area.
Patch: To what do you attribute this lack of donations?
Philabundance: There are a few reasons why our donations are down so drastically. Philabundance has seen a 66 percent increase in need over the past two years. Every day, we are seeing new faces coming to us for food. Some of those new faces have been past donors. Also, poor weather conditions around the globe have increased food and fuel prices, impacting our donors. Food is expensive to transport, and higher gas prices cause prices to increase. Our neighbors who are just making ends meet must feed their families.
Philabundance provides a full plate of services to approximately 500 member agencies in nine counties. In 2010, Philabundance distributed 21 million pounds of food. For more information about Philabundance, visit www.philabundance.org or call 215-339-0900.