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SEPTA to Launch 2nd Annual Philabundance Food Drive

This year’s goal of 10 tons will provide 20,000 meals to those in need.

PHILADELPHIA, PA (June 9, 2010) – To help fill critical shortages at local food banks, SEPTA is launching its second annual Philabundance food drive.

SEPTA will begin collecting donations of canned and boxed goods throughout the transit system on Monday June 14th. The drive continues through June 28th.

In addition to reaching out to our nearly one million daily riders with this plea to help local families in need, SEPTA’s 9,000 employees are being encouraged to participate and make donations.

In 2009, over 9,000 SEPTA riders, employees and other community members collected enough food to provide 18,500 meals to those in need across the Delaware Valley. This year, the goal of 10 tons would provide 20,000 meals to those in need. These meals are vital as one in six Americans struggle with the reality of hunger and food insecurity. There are over 900,000 people in our region that are at risk of hunger and malnutrition.

The food collected will help Philabundance as it strives to feed the hungry. Philabundance is the region’s largest hunger-relief organization, providing food to approximately 65,000 people per week. In 2009 alone, Philabundance distributed 17 million pounds of food to people in the Delaware Valley.

This campaign comes at a particularly urgent time. The number of people turning to food cupboards and pantries for help has increased. As a result, Philabundance is providing more food to more people, especially the working poor. Unfortunately, this has created a serious shortage of food at Philabundance and other food banks around the country – making it even more difficult than usual for them to help families put healthy meals on the table.

And the demand is only going to increase as summer recess begins at local schools in the coming weeks. Thousands of students rely on breakfasts and other meals provided by their schools. But once classes end, so do those meals – leaving many families already struggling to keep up with their bills to make painful decisions, such as whether to pay the rent or buy food. The need is particularly acute in Philadelphia, which has one of the highest child poverty rates in the United States. SEPTA is making it easy for riders to help. Food donations will be collected at locations throughout the system, including all Center City Regional Rail stations, all major bus terminals and several locations along the Broad Street and Market Frankford lines.

For more information, including a complete list of donation drop-off spots,
visit www.septa.org.

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