May 10, 2021

Hunger Remains as the Pandemic Takes a Pause

Lombard Central Food Pantry
Lombard Central Food Pantry

As the summer months approach, and state restrictions are lifted, many people are looking forward to getting back to some semblance of normalcy as we continue to navigate through this pandemic. For our Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger team, we know that lifted restrictions and warm weather will not help thousands of individuals, children and their families in the Philadelphia region who continue to experience hunger. 

The Coalition has been an anti-hunger leader for over two decades, building a regional movement to end hunger in southeastern Pennsylvania. Even in a pandemic, we remain steadfast in our mission to build a community where all people have the food they need to lead healthy lives.

That’s why this summer, the Coalition Against Hunger is working harder than ever to address food insecurity across the Philadelphia region.

Immediate Relief

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, food insecurity grew in Philadelphia by 30% with even larger increases in surrounding counties. The Coalition responded to hundreds of calls from people seeking emergency food resources and SNAP benefits. Many of them were facing food insecurity for the first time in their lives due to massive layoffs and business closures brought on by COVID-19-related shutdowns. Our food pantry partners faced massive barriers in their efforts to deliver food safely due to site closures and with many pantry leaders in an age category that meant they are more vulnerable to COVID-19. We worked creatively and virtually to communicate the ever-shifting federal and state food nutrition policy changes to our clients and partners.

Short-term Relief

To meet the increase in calls to our SNAP Hotline, the Coalition has hired additional counselors to assist in processing SNAP applications and making food pantry referrals to struggling families still desperately in need of food due to recent unemployment and the lack of new opportunities as businesses are still unable to operate at full capacity due to social distancing guidelines. Our SNAP Hotline has seen a 60% increase in volume since March 2020 and we do not anticipate it getting any better for most of 2021.

Long-term Relief

The Coalition continues to work with partners to ramp up the pressure on the USDA to extend child nutrition waivers that will allow families to more easily access meals for their children while schools are closed.

Feast of Justice Food Pantry
Feast of Justice Food Pantry
VNA Philadelphia
VNA Philadelphia
Jan 10, 2021

The Fight to Combat Hunger in a Global Pandemic

The Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger is working harder than ever to connect individuals and families to the food resources they need. As the saying goes, the only constant is change. We know that families throughout the Philadelphia region are already juggling many challenges, a task that is likely to get tougher as the new school year starts.

This spring, the Coalition Against Hunger is working in the following ways to address food insecurity across the Philadelphia region…

Immediate Relief

The Coalition is supporting our local Food Pantry and Soup Kitchens through our Food Rescue Program which is designed to provide additional food resources to VIP (Victory in Partnership) members. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, demand for food has been substantially higher than in 2019. The Coalition has met the needs of so many struggling households by connecting individuals and families to emergency food at food pantries and soup kitchens in the region. We are bracing for an even busier spring as children who normally receive free and reduced lunch will not have this meal available as schools remain closed and using virtual schooling because of COVID-19.

Short-term Relief

To meet the increase in calls to our SNAP Hotline, the Coalition has hired additional counselors to assist in processing SNAP applications and making food pantry referrals to struggling families still desperately in need of food due to recent unemployment and the lack of new opportunities as businesses are still unable to operate at full capacity due to social distancing guidelines. Our SNAP Hotline has seen a 60% increase in volume since March 2020 and we do not anticipate it getting any better for most of 2021.

Long-term Relief

The Coalition will continue to work with partners to ramp up the pressure on the USDA to extend child nutrition waivers that will allow families to more easily access meals for their children while schools are closed.

Sep 11, 2020

Navigating through the COVID-19 Pandemic

During these unprecedented times, the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger is working harder than ever to connect individuals and families to the food resources they need. As the saying goes, the only constant is change. We know that families throughout the Philadelphia region are already juggling many challenges, a task that is likely to get tougher as the new school year starts.

This fall, the Coalition Against Hunger is working in the following ways to address food insecurity across the Philadelphia region…

Immediate Relief

The Coalition is supporting our local Food Pantry and Soup Kitchens through our Food Rescue Program which is designed to provide additional food resources to VIP (Victory in Partnership) members. During the pandemic, demand for food has been substantially higher than this same time in 2019. Over the past three months alone, The Coalition connected food pantries and soup kitchens to 51,050 lbs. of food for 2,247 households and 6,743 people. We are bracing for an even busier fall as children who normally receive free and reduced lunch will not have this meal available as schools remain closed and using both virtual and hybrid schooling because of COVID-19.

Short-term Relief

With the end of Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) and continued economic hardship, we are seeing a steady increase in calls to our SNAP Hotline. The Coalition has increased the number of counselors processing SNAP applications and making food pantry referrals to struggling families still desperately in need of food due to recent unemployment and the lack of new opportunities as businesses are still unable to operate at full capacity due to social distancing guidelines. Our SNAP Hotline has seen a 60% increase in volume since March 2020 and we do not anticipate it getting any better throughout the rest of the year.

Long-term Relief

The Coalition will continue to work with partners to ramp up the pressure on the USDA to extend child nutrition waivers that will allow families to more easily access meals for their children while schools are closed.

 
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