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Philabundance Needs Volunteers for Its New COMMUNITY FOOD CENTER in North Philadelphia

Volunteers Help Feed a Community in Need

PHILADELPHIA – Feb. 16, 2010 – Philabundance’s new Community Food Center (CFC) in North Philadelphia has met with an overwhelming response from the local community since opening its doors this past November. The demands on the pilot program to distribute more than 20,000 pounds of food a week to people in need, has meant that the CFC needs more volunteers to ensure that it can successfully serve the community.

The CFC is housed in the basement of the Lillian Marrero Library-Lehigh Branch at 601 W. Lehigh Ave., and serves the West Kensington and Fairhill neighborhoods of Philadelphia. This pilot program is a choice food pantry that greatly extends traditional operating hours, while promoting dignity by offering people in need an array of food choices rather than a pre-packaged bag or box.

Volunteers are a vital part of Philabundance’s mission. The new Community Food Center needs volunteers on a regular basis from Tuesday through Saturday, for a minimum of three hours each day for a variety of tasks including unloading orders, stocking shelves, greeting, registering and checking-in customers, as well as data entry. Groups and individual volunteers are both welcome.

To date the CFC has distributed about 160,000 pounds of food and registered 1100 families. Clients of the CFC visit once per week and fill up their baskets with any items of their choice, including dry goods, refrigerated and frozen items, fresh dairy, produce and bread. The CFC is open to shoppers Wednesdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The program is part of the Philabundance Emergency Relief Initiative launched in May of 2009, to meet the growing demand for food. Philabundance, the Delaware Valley’s largest hunger relief organization, is piloting the Community Food Center in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Community Service (MOCS) and Saint Joseph’s University, whose funding support and counsel through the university’s Department of Food Marketing has helped get the program off the ground.

Anyone interested in volunteering at the Philabundance Community Food Center should contact Jan at jbarnett@philabundance.org or (215) 339-0900 , ext. 310.

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 nine 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 2009, 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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