The Best Way to Fight Hunger
Philabundance’s Executive Director, Bill Clark, submitted a letter to the editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, discussing the best way to fight hunger and how every type of donation we receive helps. It was recently picked up and published on January 3, 2012 which explains why the length of this post is longer than usual.
As the executive director of the Delaware Valley’s largest hunger relief organization, I often get asked the question; will it help more to give money or food? The simple answer is that both are vital to what we’re doing each day.
Financial donations are critical. Without funding, Philabundance couldn’t keep our fleet of trucks on the road each day or keep our freezers and refrigerators working. Additionally, through Philabundance’s close ties with the food industry, we are offered special non-profit rates that allow us to purchase food at deep discounts and leverage each donor’s dollar to stretch it further.
Money is critical to the framework of Philabundance, but hunger is a problem that money alone can’t solve. As a community, we need to fight back from every angle and food donations and community engagement are vital. Raising awareness about hunger through food drives is imperative in not only getting food in the door, but it brings the issue to light. When you coordinate a food drive at your company, school or place of worship, you help spread the word. I know when my family contributes to a food drive, we can’t help but feel connected to the family that our donation will help feed. And just as importantly, food drives provide a rich variety of different products that allow our clients the choice and dignity they deserve.
Support, whether it is donations of money, food or time, is what fuels Philabundance. It’s what helps us meet the growing need. It’s what helps us create new and innovative ways of getting food into the hands of those who need it most. It’s also what helps us keep the issue of hunger in the forefront of the minds of those in the community. There are close to 900,000 people in the Delaware Valley at risk of hunger, people who may be right in your own backyard, your neighbors.
As we approach the New Year and another year of fighting hunger, we foresee many more challenges and more people seeking out food assistance. In the last year alone, we saw an increase in need of 26% among our agencies accompanied by an actual decrease in food donations. Now, more than ever we need support from our neighbors in the Delaware Valley and beyond. When I have a chance to meet one of the many who benefit from Philabundance’s services, I get to see how each and every donation makes an impact on peoples’ lives. It’s that end result of getting food into the hands of those who need it most that really matters and it’s a very powerful thing.
Philabundance wants to thank all who answered the call over the past year and those who have supported us for many years, we could not do what we do without your generosity and support. I want to make an appeal to the people of the Delaware Valley. Whether you donate food, funds or time, it will make an impact.