September is Hunger Action Month, and food banks across the country like Philabundance are issuing a call-to-action mobilizing people in the Delaware Valley to participate in the fight against hunger this September through more than 30 different actions and events. Philabundance, the Delaware Valley’s largest hunger relief organization, launches the “Fill a Plate, Give a Meal” campaign to provide meals to families across the region.
The initiative is an effort to mobilize the public to raise awareness of hunger across the country and in the Delaware Valley. Nationwide, close to one in five Americans struggled to afford food so far in 2012 according to Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey. Hunger is not just a national problem, close to 900,000 people are at risk of hunger in the Delaware Valley which is why Philabundance in conjunction with Feeding America, the national network of 202 food banks, is asking everyone to participate in Hunger Action Month this September.
Philabundance is preparing to stock the shelves as the winter months approach and utility bills increase, leaving neighbors in need with little money to feeding their families. In addition to utility bills increasing, this summer’s drought will bring higher grocery bills further straining the resources of people in need and making them choose between heating their home or feeding their families. According to the USDA, food prices are predicted to rise 3% to 4% in 2013, due to lingering effects of the drought.
This year, local celebrities are participating in Hunger Action Month by writing their feelings of hunger on empty paper plates. Participants include Tracy Davidson, consumer reporter at NBC 10 and The Ceres Society co-chair, Tony Luke Jr. of Tony Luke’s Cheesesteaks, Preston and Steve of the Preston and Steve Morning Show on 93.3 WMMR, Kelly and Chica from the Sunny Side Up Show on Sprout and Chef Eric Ripert, executive Chef of 10 Arts at the Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia. Banners can be seen on www.Philabundance.org starting September 1.
Philabundance is offering an opportunity to take a daily stand against hunger by providing a “30 ways in 30 Days” calendar guide of easy and impactful ways to fight hunger in the Delaware Valley. Different ways include “following” Philabundance on Twitter or participating in events and activities that help support Philabundance’s mission of getting food into the hands of those who need it most. Philabundance will also be welcoming monetary donations through www.philabundance.org/HungerActionMonth; a $30 donation will provide 60 meals for people in need in the Delaware Valley.
Individuals who want to learn more are invited to visit Philabundance’s website, www.philabundance.org/HungerActionMonth, and check out the “30 Ways in 30 Days” calendar. Some of the events and programs planned this month include:
Paper Plate Advocacy Project– Through September, Philabundance is asking neighbors across the Delaware Valley to write a message about hunger on an empty paper plate and send it in to Philabundance. The plates will then be sent to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett in Harrisburg. Participants can also post a photo of themselves with their plate to Philabundance’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/Philabundance. Photos will be printed and sent to Harrisburg.
Second Annual Hunger Symposium– On September 13th, Philabundance is holding the second annual Hunger Symposium: Finding Food to Meet the Need, The Challenges of Food Sourcing, sponsored by FMC Corporation at The Hub at the Cira Center. Attendees will join experts from around the country, as well as supporters and professionals in the field of hunger relief in a dialogue surrounding the many challenges facing food banks today, including issues acquiring enough food for people in need. Learn more at www.philabundance.org/hungersymposium.
PECO Building Lit for Hunger Action Month- throughout September, the PECO building in Philadelphia will be lit up for Hunger Action Month! Check out the skyline on September 1-3 and again September 23-25.
Harvester of Hope Award– Philabundance will recognize an individual and an organization that go above and beyond in the fight against hunger. The recipients will be recognized at the Hunger Symposium reception at 10 Arts Bistro and Lounge on September 12 th.
Hunger Strike Bike Tour– Johnny Mac’s Chopper House will be touring the Hunger Strike Bike at various Tony Luke’s Cheesesteaks locations throughout September. A $10 raffle ticket will give you a chance to win this custom motorcycle and provide 10 meals for families in need. Tickets can be purchased online at PhillyHungerStrike.com.
10Arts Tasting Menu– 10 Arts Bistro and Lounge in the Ritz-Carlton have a special tasting menu where $1 of the cost directly benefits Philabundance.
Corporate Beet Down– Corporate Beet Down is a year-long competition between companies to sort, pack and volunteer for Philabundance. Winners for the 2011-2012 Beet Down will be announced on September 12, 2012. Visit Philabundance.org now to register for the 2012-2013, Corporate Beet Down competition.
Share the Harvest– Drop-off your extra fruits and veggies through Sept. 22 at designated locations that can be found at www.philabundance.org/ShareTheHarvest.
Shire’s The Great Food Fight Registration– A region wide food drive competition between high schools. Last year, 21 schools participated raising 71 tons of food. Shire Pharmaceuticals awarded $10,000 to Owen J. Roberts High School of Chester County for collecting the most food and awarded Holy Ghost Preparatory School of Bucks County with $5,000 for raising the most pounds of food per student. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Throughout Hunger Action Month, participants can visit www.philabundance.org or call 215-339-0900 to learn more about how to help people struggling with hunger in the Delaware Valley. If you, or someone you know is in need of food please call Philabundance’s Food Helpline 800-319-Food (3663).
Philabundance reduces hunger and food insecurity in the Delaware Valley by providing food access to people in need in partnership with organizations and individuals. Philabundance provides a full plate of services through direct service programs and a network of close to 500 member agencies in 9 counties. Philabundance serves approximately 65,000 people per week at a cost of 50 cents per meal. There are more than 900,000 people in the Delaware Valley who are at risk for chronic hunger and malnutrition. In 2011, Philabundance distributed 21 million pounds of food. For more information about Philabundance, visit www.philabundance.org or call 215-339-0900. Visit us on Facebook, Facebook.com/Philabundance and follow us on Twitter, Twitter.com/Philabundance. If you or someone you know is in need of food assistance, please call Philabundance’s Food Help Line, 800-319-Food (3663).