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…
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.
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.
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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