Dear Friends,

As the need for food resource assistance continues to rise, the community fridges across our region provide a creative, community based and easy way for neighbors to support each other. 

The latest installment of our Community Fridge series is about two young women who established the largest community fridge in the city on 52nd St in West Philadelphia to feed the community their father quietly fed before passing away from COVID-19.  To read the full story go to #HungerFigher Blog Update; Community Fridge Series

Register Now for the 25th Annual Race Against Hunger!

Registration for the 25th annual Race Against Hunger is now open! Now in its 25th year, the Race continues to bring together the community for one cause: to end hunger in the Greater Philadelphia area, one step at a time.

 

This year's Virtual Race Against Hunger 5K Run/Walk will be a socially distant event running from Friday, April 16, 2021 - Monday, April 26, 2021. Safely run/walk the distance against food insecurity on a certified 5K along Kelly Drive starting at Boathouse Row or from your own neighborhood! To celebrate the start of the Race, we will be offering an Early Bird Special from February 1st - February 15th! Excludes Youth 5K Walk. The registration fee will go up to $30 starting on February 16th. Visit our Race registration page HERE to receive your discount.

 

Please visit www.phillyhungerrace.com for details on how you can support the Race Against Hunger.

 

Policy and Advocacy

There’s been no shortage of action at the state and federal levels in the last week! At the state level:

  • On Wednesday, Governor Wolf delivered his budget address to the General Assembly, outlining his proposed FY2021-22 state budget. While there are many details to wade through, we are fully in support of our Food Bank partners’ message that PA elected officials must increase support for critical state programs that fight hunger in communities across the Commonwealth. The Governor’s proposal includes flat funding of $18.188 million for the State Food Purchase Program (SFPP), and a $1 million increase to $2.5 million for the Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System (PASS). This is simply not enough. The emergency food system cannot return to pre-pandemic funding levels when the pandemic continues to fuel high levels of health and economic hardship. With many months of budget negotiations to come, we are joining our anti-hunger partners in advocating for $24 million for SFPP and $5 million for PASS in the final state budget. You can see Feeding PA and Hunger-free PA’s press release for additional details, as well as one-page fact sheets on SFPP and PASS.   

 

  • DHS recently released December 2020 data on SNAP enrollment. We were surprised, yet again, to see that SNAP enrollment in Pennsylvania, as well as in our region, continued to decrease. This trend has held since September, even as our hotline rings nonstop and our pantry partners work to keep up with demand. While we are happy that some people are reconnecting to jobs and may no longer need SNAP, we are also concerned that many households may not realize they are eligible. Because some of the confusion about eligibility may stem from changes in the treatment of Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC), we have this new flyer that explains that PUC income (the temporary addition of $300/week) does not count for SNAP purposes. 

 

  • As you know from our previous updates, millions of Americans continue to face hunger and hardship at punishingly high rates. Even with pandemic unemployment compensation and the 15% SNAP benefits bump, families can only stretch their dollars so far. For many, their budget crunch combined with cold weather (and more frigid temperatures anticipated next week!) causes utility bills to grow as they focus on keeping a roof overhead and food on the table. Yet, in less than two months, the Public Utility Commission (PUC) will allow utilities to resume shutoffs for low-income households. Our friends at the Pennsylvania Utility Law Project (PULP) and Community Legal Services (CLS) are circulating this sign-on letter calling on the PUC to extend protections for low-income customers and develop a plan to equitably forgive utility debt. Both organizations and individuals can lend their support, so please consider signing and sharing with others! Deadline is Mon., February 15.

 

  • At the federal level, there has been such a flurry of action it’s difficult for us to provide a short summary. One important item we’d like to highlight is that late Friday last week, USDA issued guidance on P-EBT, which included both a boost to the benefits and important changes that will allow states to simplify how they figure out which children are eligible for P-EBT. DHS is working to prepare and submit PA’s plan, now with the help of more clear and comprehensive guidance. Beyond that, suffice it to say we applaud President Biden’s Executive Order that paves the way for undoing the harms of the Trump administration’s draconian public charge rules, and are pleased that a strong push for another round of COVID relief is well underway! 

 

Food Pantry and Soup Kitchens

In January our Food Rescue Program led by community organizer Derek Felton connected our VIP member food pantry and soup kitchen partners with 15,000 lbs of food and 1,560 lbs of water for a total of 17,120 lbs, to many families newly facing hunger! 

The Coalition’s VIP (Victory in Partnership) member Second Antioch Food Pantry in West Philadelphia continues to provide food choice weekly to their neighbors using social distancing, masks, and additional COVID safety measures.

Second Antioch Food Pantry-912 N. 41 St, Philadelphia, PA

 

NDS (Nutritional Development Services) will be hosting a FREE Farmers to Family Food Distribution Day this weekend! There will be food boxes including a variety of meats, dairy, and produce. And student meal kits including 7 breakfasts & 7 lunches for virtual students who are not receiving school meals. 

SATURDAY, February 6, 2021 at Holy Innocents Church

Philadelphia, PA - 19124

10 AM - NOON

All families are welcome, no ID required-

please share with your community members, staff, students, etc.

 

SNAP Hotline

Our SNAP Hotline continues to experience an increase in calls. Thank you to our volunteers and SNAP Hotline Team for their tireless efforts to support individuals and families as they navigate the SNAP application process! Our SNAP Hotline operates Monday – Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at 215-430-0556.    

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO?  

We strive to build a community where all people have the food they need to lead healthy lives. Hunger is preventable. Thank you for your continued support of our work! 

The Coalition Against Hunger Team

Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger
123 Chestnut Street Suite 401 | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106
215-430-0555 | info@hungercoalition.org

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