Dear Friend of Philabundance,
“I arrived in February just as the pandemic started and I could not find a job. I have three children who depend on me, and I am a single father. I am thankful for the people who donate and are able to sustain me while I resolve my situation. Thank you to all who make this possible.” Diego, West Chester, PA, client at a Philabundance agency
URGENT need, stop press!
One of the most important and high impact initiatives we have undertaken to respond to the COVID crisis is providing 16,000 boxes of healthy fruits and vegetables every week to the 40 City-wide distribution sites. These sites are a true lifeline to many families in Philadelphia. We are all aware of the challenges to the food supply chain nationally. Unfortunately, the distributors we have been relying on to provide these boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables not available to us this week. We need $320,000 in emergency funding to provide one weeks’ worth of healthy food. We are confident that our supplies will normalize for future weeks. We are so grateful to all of you, who have already given so much to Philabundance. We are again asking for your support to help us maintain this great program – please reach out to me at 724-473-3306 if you would like to learn more or make a donation to fund this effort.
What’s happening now:
Since March, we have experienced an 80 percent increase in the pounds of food we are distributing, up to 2.25 million per month. The demand from our agency network is so high that we estimate we could move up to four times this amount if we were able to source the food and the equipment to handle such volume.
Our work is not possible without our network of 350 partner agencies. From coordinated drive-through distributions in five sites across Montgomery County, to the volunteer who opens the pantry each day at her own personal risk, the strength and resilience of our partners inspires us, and we hope it inspires you, too. We are proud to support their work with access to the foods they need, and with additional resources like PPE and refrigeration. Since February, we have provided more than 30 refrigerators and freezers to our agency partners, allowing them to store more fresh, healthy products for their communities.
An additional example of how we support our partner agencies is by demonstrating for them how to prepare MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat). The pandemic has asked us to broaden the types of food we distribute and MRE’s are a new tool for us in the fight against hunger. We produced an instructional video on how to prepare these meals and also provided written instructions in seven languages.
Our most recent Virtual Town Hall focused on the Philabundance Community Kitchen (PCK), our signature workforce development and life skills program. While our mission to provide quality life skills development and job training has not changed, the meal production aspect of our Community Kitchen has significantly increased to meet the current need. Thanks to your support, we have been able to nearly double our meal production efforts; we are now providing over 8,000 meals each week to vulnerable members of our community.
To learn more about our COVID-19 response, needs, or to get involved, I encourage you to visit our COVID-19 Resources and Information page.
May your plate always be full,
Chief Development Officer