Ensuring all families have the food they need to lead healthy lives
By Ronna Bolante - Project Leader
For many people struggling with hunger, nutrition comes second to simply feeding their families.
People often stretch their budgets by buyer cheaper, processed foods that might be filling but offer little nutritional value. Many low-income neighborhoods don't have supermarkets, either, making it even harder to buy fresh, healthy food.
And that has long-term consequences for every member of a family. Hunger increases a person's risk for heart disease, diabetes, even obesity. For children, hunger is especially devastating, jeopardizing their health and development and robbing them of the ability to reach their full potential.
With the help of Global Giving supporters, the Coalition Against Hunger is working to change that. Every day, our organization strives to ensure all people have the food they need to lead healthy lives.
In the past few months alone, the Coalition has:
Created an urban garden just a few blocks from our office, working with community residents to revitalize a long-neglected neighborhood in North Philadelphia. All the vegetables we harvest—zucchini, collard greens, tomatoes and more—will go to a local food pantry that helps low-income families in the area.
Presented a series of free nutrition workshops titled “Eating Healthy on a Budget” for dozens of families in some of Philadelphia’s highest-need areas. Attendees learn quick and easy tips for planning and preparing healthy, affordable and delicious meals.
Urged Congress to protect federal nutrition programs that keep millions of Americans from going hungry every day. Over the next year, we’ll continue to press elected officials to safeguard vital programs like WIC and SNAP (formerly food stamps), which will feed 1 in 2 U.S. children.
None of this work would be possible without dedicated supporters like you.
As always, thank you for your continued commitment to fighting hunger in our communities.
Although the recession has ended, many families in Pennsylvania—and across the U.S.—are still reeling from its effects. Record numbers of Americans have sought food assistance over the past year, many for the first time in their lives.
In the past three months alone, the Coalition Against Hunger has helped nearly 2,000 people in Philadelphia put food on their tables, by connecting them with SNAP (food stamp) benefits so they can buy groceries for their families as they get back on their feet.
We’ve helped people like Tammy F., who lost her job at a pharmaceutical company last year. The 34-year-old mother had no idea how she was going to feed her 8-year-old son and 70-year-old mother. Even when she was employed, Tammy struggled to pay for their medications, since both her son and mother had physical disabilities. “There were times when I was standing there, crying, thinking, Why is this happening?,” says Tammy.
Tammy learned about the Coalition’s SNAP (Food Stamp) Hotline from her state representative’s office, where she often volunteered. “He told me to call the number to get help—it was great advice,” she says. The Coalition helped Tammy obtain her benefits and referred her to community food pantries for extra support. “This was the first time in my life I had to go through something like this, and the Coalition was wonderful to work with,” Tammy says.
Every day, supporters like you allow us to help people like Tammy make ends meet as they rebuild their lives. Thank you for your continued support in our ongoing fight against hunger.
Thanks to your support, the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger has made great strides in ensuring all children have the nutritious food they need to lead healthy lives. Last year, we:
Helped nearly 5,000 people in Philadelphia apply for benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), so they could buy food for their families.
Provided more than 100 local food pantries and soup kitchens with funding, kitchen equipment and trainings to help them better meet the growing need in their communities.
Successfully advocated to protect Philadelphia’s Universal Feeding Program, which provides free school meals to more than 110,000 children in high-poverty schools.
And we're constantly looking for new, innovative ways to help families put food on their tables. Last summer, more than 25,000 low-income mothers and children were able to buy more fresh produce, under a joint public-private initiative coordinated by the Coalition Against Hunger.
The WIC Farmers' Market Project provided participants in the federal WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program with $80 in farmers’ market vouchers—quadruple the amount historically allotted. Families could redeem their vouchers for fruits and vegetables at more than 30 farmers’ markets in Philadelphia. Not only did the project help families buy healthier foods, it pumped nearly $1.3 million into local farms throughout the region.
We couldn’t have done any of this without supporters like you, who share our commitment and passion to ending hunger in our communities. We will continue to update you with our progress in the fight against hunger in the months ahead.