Imagine having no food and not knowing where to turn for help. That is exactly what Linda faced before she called our SNAP Hotline in September.
"I was so relieved when I got on the phone with the Coalition Against Hunger," Linda said. "I called many places only to sit on hold before I heard that they couldn't help me. You were kind and knew the answers to all my questions."
Linda received Social Security but nearly all of it went to cover her rent. We determined that she qualified for expedited SNAP (food stamp) benefits, and we completed her application right over the phone. Within days, Linda received the benefits she needed.
"Before, I would get vegetables and fruit from my neighbors but I would hate to take it. I was too proud," said Linda. "The SNAP benefits you helped me get make it easier to buy my own food."
We speak with dozens of people like Linda each day and hear similar stories. They are thankful to speak with someone who can help.
Thanks to your support, we helped more than 3,000 families and household apply for food assistance this year through our SNAP Hotline.
For more than two decades, we have worked with those struggling with food insecurity, whose voices are not always heard, but whose experience with hunger is very real. We remain committed to this vital work because we know that in America, hunger is preventable.
The third annual Good Food For All Conference took place this spring at the Free Library of Philadelphia Culinary Literary Center.
More than 200 attendees learned about eating well on a budget, reducing food waste, food workers' rights and more. The event was free to SNAP eligible attendees and those who operate food pantries and soup kitchens.
In addition to the 50 presenters, keynote speaker Saru Jayaramn highlighted the fight for a minimum wage increase. Jayaraman is the co-founder and co-director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers united (ROC United). In addition, she was recognized as a Champion of Change by the White House in 2014 and was listed in CNN's "Top 10 Visionary Women".
"The food system is the largest employer in the United States as well as the absolute lowest paying employer," said Jayaraman. "Which means that the food system is responsible for growing the low-wage floor of our economy."
The kitchen at the Culinary Literary Center was once again a popular destination and included cooking demonstrations from Challah For Hunger, The Rooster Soup Company, and students from West Philadelphia High School!
On Saturday, April 8 thousands of fellow hunger fighters joined us for the Thomas' Walk Against Hunger! The event, now in its 21st year, was held at Lincoln Financial Field for the first time. The route allowed participants to walk a lap around the field inside the stadium to start the walk.
The event raises funds for around 100 food pantries, soup kitchens and anti-hunger agencies in the region. For many, the money raised from the Walk represents their entire yearly operating budget.
As always, the family friendly event had games and face painting for kids, entertainment from church choirs and local bands Queen of Jeans and Hardwork Movement, and free Thomas' English Muffins!
In addition, Philly Fry Food Truck was on hand to pass out free fries to our walkers and ACME Markets and the Philadelphia Eagles used the Walk to launch their "Teaming Up to Kick Hunger" campaign, which allowed people to purchase a $10 bag of food to be donated to local pantries.
Thank you to all who came out for the Thomas' Walk Against Hunger! And as always, thank you to all of our supporters. Without you, our work to ensure all people have the food they need to lead healthy lives would be impossible.