Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, one in five people in Philadelphia were food-insecure.
This number, which was already higher than the national average, has been heightened throughout the past year---and local children are among the most critical in-need, missing vital access to free food programs through school due to the pandemic's impact.
Philadelphia's child food insecurity rate in 2020 is projected at over 32%, and the need to support the local childhood community has never been more important.
Philabundance, a hunger relief organization serving Greater Philadelphia and a member of Feeding America, is at the forefront of the fight against childhood food insecurity and needs assistance from the community, now more than ever.
"For food banks across the country, much of the past year has been focused on adapting to meet the 60% increase in need that we've seen because of COVID," explained Philabundance CEO Loree Jones. "With children remote learning due to the pandemic, many don't have access to the school meals they depended on to get through the day. This made our BackPack Program aimed at feeding children more important than ever."
Philabundance's BackPack Program delivers much-needed free food for kids, providing 3 to 5 lbs. of shelf-stable food---equating to 24 meals---per backpack. Altogether, this monthly food distribution provides more than 30,000 kids and their families with access to nutritious food each month.
Prior to COVID-19, Philabundance's BackPack Program was facilitated through local schools, with children looking forward to the array of food and snacks they received monthly. Due to COVID-19 and shifting to remote learning, Philabundance pivoted the program to serve students through its agency network of food pantries, community centers and more.
The 24 sites that will distribute the BackPacks are located in ZIP codes with some of the highest rates of food insecurity in Greater Philadelphia.
To help Philabundance provide Philadelphia children and their families with these nutritious meals, Toyota, its local Toyota dealers and many business partners across Greater Philadelphia have come together under a new donation drive and media campaign, branded Lil' Abundance, that will both...