Philabundance

Mission

Philabundance reduces hunger and food insecurity in the Delaware Valley by providing food access to people in need, in partnership with organizations and individuals.

History

Philabundance was founded as a nonprofit food distribution system in 1984,to reduce food waste and fight hunger in the Delaware Valley. In 2005, Philabundance integrated with the Philadelphia Food Bank to become the region’s largest nonprofit hunger relief organization.Today, Philabundance offers a full plate of services to Delaware Valley residents at risk of chronic hunger and malnutrition.

Funding

Individual contributions make up more than 60 percent of Philabundance’s funding. Additional support comes fromcorporations, businesses, foundations, and religious and civic groups. In 2011, food donations accounted for approximately 85% of the food we delivered; 6% was purchased. Government commodities accounted for the remaining 9%.

PEOPLE WE SERVE

We fulfill our mission by delivering our direct service programs, and through a network of about 500 agencies across the Delaware Valley. Our member agencies include food cupboards, shelter or residential programs, social service agencies, emergency kitchens, and neighborhood distribution programs. These are vital services, as more than 900,000 low-income residents of the Delaware Valley are at risk for chronic hunger and malnutrition.

Of the population we serve, approximately 23% are children and 16% are senior citizens. The remaining recipients are parents, caregivers, and single adults, which include homeless, mentally ill, and disabled people, who receive support from nonprofit social service groups. Philabundance provides food to approximately 65,000 people per week, and is able to provide 2 meals for each dollar donated.

As the region’s largest hunger relief organization, Philabundance delivers food to member agencies in 9 Delaware Valley counties: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties in Pennsylvania and Western Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Salem Counties in New Jersey.

Philabundance also makes sure we’re prepared to provide food if and when a disaster strikes. During the Hurricane Katrina aftermath Philabundance was the fourth largest provider of food to the Gulf.

Food Acquisition & Distribution

Philabundance receives food donations from national and local food manufacturers, wholesalers, growers, importers, retailers, brokers and food distributors. In fiscal year 2011, we acquired 21 million pounds of food and distributed 19 million pounds of food in our service area, and exported 2 million pounds of food to assist other area food banks.

Philabundance has undergone a metamorphosis from a food recovery organization to a dependable supplier of food to the community. This involves identifying the types of food that the neighborhoods need and securing those provisions to meet the demand. Product supply includes staples that most households or on-site feeding establishments use on a regular basis, with an emphasis on foods that promote good health.

Disbursement
    Direct Service Programs – Through our Community Food Center & Fresh For Alls, we provide food directly to neighbors across the region that are in need.

    Weekly Deliveries – Philabundance’s fleet of trucks is on the road five days a week distributing produce, breads, dairy products, canned and packaged foods, and prepared meals to member agencies.

    Boxes – Philabundance assembles and delivers boxes of food designed to provide balanced meals to vulnerable populations.

Programs
    Commodity Supplemental Food Program – Through the Commodity Food Supplemental Program, low-income seniors are eligible to receive boxes of USDA-donated food that Philabundance sorts and delivers on a monthly basis at no cost to locations across the Delaware Valley.Boxes contain 30 lbs of canned/ boxed food including vegetables, fruit, juice, pasta, dairy, cereal, canned meat and non-meat proteins. Interested seniors can call the Philabundance Food Help Line 800-319-Food (3663) to be directed to a CSFP/senior box location near them.

    Community Food Center – The Community Food Center (CFC) is a food pantry following a choice model of distribution. Customers choose from available items rather than receiving a prepared bag or box. Choice pantries promote dignity and respect while reducing waste.

    Emergency Food Boxes – A 30 lb box of shelf stable food that is provided to people with an emergency food situation that do not have immediate access to other food assistance. The box should supply a family of 4 with 3 meals a day for approximately 3 days.

    Fresh For All – Philabundance’s Fresh For All is a direct service program that puts fresh produce into the hands of those who need it most. Like a traveling farmer’s market, Fresh For All returns to the same site every week at the same time and day-establishing dependable access to produce.

    Food Help Line 1-800-319-Food(3663) – The Food Help Line provides the community with a single number to call for food assistance. The Food Help Line is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A dedicated bilingual Philabundance staff member answers calls and refers callers to a food cupboard near their residence that is accepting new clients. If a food referral is not available, callers can pick up an Emergency Food Box (EBox) to tide them over until they can be connected with another resource.

    Grocers Against Hunger (GAH) – Through their participation in GAH, supermarkets donate surplus dairy, meat and other food items. Weekly pickups and distribution through our direct service programs and network of agencies ensure that typically discarded food makes it to those who need it most.

    Philabundance Community Kitchen (PCK) – A job training program that provides students with hands-on instruction grounded in food service skills, while preparing meals for people in need. In 2011, PCK prepared approximately 400,000heat-and-serve meals which were delivered to nonprofit agencies and emergency and homeless shelters.

    Fare & Square – The traditional food banking model relies on a surplus of donated food to feed those in need, but in the last few years, that model is becoming less practical as the need for food assistance increases and food donations decrease. Philabundance, like food banks across the country are looking at new strategies to fight the mounting need with less food.

    To address this paradigm shift in food banking, Philabundance created a community food center model to attack hunger. This approach will address the inequality in food access that is growing in many communities. Philabundance believes that everyone has a basic right to access to dependable, affordable food, without having to travel too far.

Learn more about Philabundance by visiting them online at www.philabundance.org.



Click here to subscribe to Philly Involved’s monthly newsletter.