Philabundance could not assist 75,000 neighbors in need each week without the help of local corporations throughout the region. From financial contributions, volunteer hours, in-kind goods and food donations, these combined efforts help us reach more people than ever before.
This week, we are highlighting our community partner ACME Markets for their long-standing efforts in the fight against hunger. In fact, Pamela Rainey Lawler, founder of Philabundance, made the very first food donation on Mother’s Day, May 13, in 1984 at a local ACME market. Thirty years later, ACME continues to work alongside Philabundance to get food to our neighbors in need.
On May 15, Pam Rainey Lawler, Bill Clark, current executive director of Philabundance, Jim Perkins, President of ACME and Pastor Patricia Neal of Feast of Justice Food Pantry in Philadelphia were all on site for the kick-off event that took place at a South Philadelphia ACME located at 1901 Johnston Street. That specific ACME donates thousands of pounds of food a year to Feast of Justice through Philabundance’s Grocers Against Hunger Program. The agency is the second-busiest pantry in Philadelphia.
With Mother’s Day occurring the week prior to the event, Clark shared how hunger has affected families in our region. “Mother’s Day was last Sunday. It’s often said that the three happiest words a mother can hear is “I love you”. But in far too many homes the three most gut-wrenching words a mother can hear is ‘What’s for Dinner’.”
Feast of Justice is one of Philabundance’s neighborhood agency partners, located in Northeast Philadelphia. Between 2010 and 2013, Feast of Justice saw a 30% increase of pounds of food distributed and a 52% of people served.
Since 2006, ACME has donated more than 13.7 million pounds of food through our Grocers Against Hunger Program, which collects food from participating grocers that would otherwise go to waste. This South Philadelphia store has donated more than 218,000 pounds of food or 218,000 meals since 2009. Many of these items are often expensive and difficult to obtain items such as meat, dairy, produce and baked goods
“Acme is so proud to have been the first supermarket to partner with Philabundance. It is an honor to be associated with this great organization that does so much to help fight hunger in the Delaware Valley. Acme’s focus has been, and remains to be, helping the needy in our communities. We look forward to continuing our work with Philabundance”, said Jim Perkins, president of ACME Markets and board member at Philabundance.
At event, Pam shared what sparked her to start Philabundance three decades ago. “It’s hard to believe that 30 years ago the idea of collecting and distributing fresh, perishable foods was an untested one – and thought to be impossible,” shared Lawler.
“After much research, it became clear that the surplus food available could begin to alleviate the growing problem of hunger in Philadelphia. What was missing was the middleman – the transportation system. Once that was created, it was the commitment, generosity, and caring of those early adopters – the local ACME store manager, the caterers, farmers market merchants, restaurateurs and others – who helped me prove that with good logistics, safe food handling, and dedicated drivers, we could get healthful foods to those in need quickly and efficiently.”
Philabundance is proud to work with ACME employees and shoppers to help fight hunger throughout the Delaware Valley. We are grateful for their ongoing commitment over the past thirty years!