Resolution 240448

Honoring, recognizing, and congratulating Philabundance, the Greater Philadelphia Area's largest hunger relief organization, on the occasion of its 40th Anniversary.

May 9, 2024 - CITY COUNCIL
Full Text

Honoring, recognizing, and congratulating Philabundance, the Greater Philadelphia Area’s largest hunger relief organization, on the occasion of its 40th Anniversary.
WHEREAS, Philabundance was founded and incorporated in March 1984 by Pamela Rainey Lawler as a food rescue organization with the simple belief that no one should go hungry while good food goes to waste, and was operated out of Pamela Rainey Lawler’s Subaru station wagon for the first year of its existence; and 
WHEREAS, Philabundance’s initial goal was to work with grocers, restaurateurs, bakers, and other food merchants to salvage healthy, nutritious food that was thrown away, but quickly took on the broader mission of driving hunger from communities throughout our region. Today, Philabundance aims to relieve hunger now while working to end hunger for good; and
WHEREAS, Philabundance has expanded since its foundation to include warehouse locations in South Philadelphia, North Philadelphia, and Roxborough, providing hunger relief services throughout the City as well as to 8 surrounding counties, including: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties in Pennsylvania, and Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Salem Counties in New Jersey; and 
WHEREAS, Philabundance stepped up to meet the unprecedented community need for food assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic, doubling the amount of food distributed from nearly 25 million in 2019 to more than 50 million in 2020, and continuing to serve at this level into 2024 to meet the ongoing heightened demand; and  
WHEREAS, Today, Philabundance provides food assistance to more than 100,000 people each week, including targeted services for children and senior citizens; and
WHEREAS, Philabundance serves our neighbors in need through its network of more than 350 community partners including food pantries, schools, places of worship, shelters, social service agencies, and emergency kitchens - with over 220 in the City of Philadelphia; and 
WHEREAS, Philabundance takes an approach to food assistance that aims to address the root causes of hunger, with initiatives such as the Philabundance Community Kitchen, a culinary arts workforce development program for low-to-no income adults which has graduated more than 1,000 students to date with an impressive employment rate of more than 80% among graduates, and prepares hundreds of thousands of meals each year to shelters, schools, and other organizations supporting vulnerable populations; and 
WHEREAS, Philabundance is committed to providing communities with nutritious, culturally responsive, equitably sourced, and accessible food in accordance with their Good Food Policy, with nearly 90% of food distributed classified as “healthy;” and
WHEREAS, Philabundance has long been recognized as a pioneer in the field of hunger relief, most recently through innovative partnerships with healthcare providers to home deliver nutritious meals and piloting “food as medicine” interventions with the goal of improving health outcomes; and
WHEREAS, Philabundance has partnered with WMMR’s Preston & Steve to host “Camp Out for Hunger,” the nation’s largest food drive for the past 26 years here in Philadelphia; and
WHEREAS, Philabundance has a longstanding partnership with the City of Philadelphia through their work with the Office of Children and Families, the Office of Homeless Services, the Office of People with Disabilities, and elected officials to provide crucial nutritional support to Philadelphia’s most vulnerable residents; and
WHEREAS, President Joseph R. Biden has volunteered at Philabundance for Dr. Martin Luther King JR. Day of Service on three occasions, recognizing the value of their work and shining a national spotlight on the critical need to eradicate food insecurity; and 
WHEREAS, Philabundance is a member of Feeding America’s national network of over 200 food banks, leveraging their resources to inform and expand initiatives to reduce hunger and advocate for lasting policy change at the local, state, and federal level; now, therefore, be it 
RESOLVED, BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, That it hereby honors, recognizes and congratulates Philabundance on the occasion 40th anniversary for its exemplary service to Philadelphians and citizens throughout the Greater Philadelphia Area. 
FURTHER RESOLVED, That an Engrossed copy of this Resolution be presented to Philabundance as evidence of the sincere sentiments of this legislative body.