Philabundance, the non-profit food bank that serves the Philadelphia and Delaware Valley region of Pennsylvania, has been working very hard in order to help those who may need extra help during the current pandemics. The organization’s goal to drive hunger from communities is facing a tremendous challenge during the COVID-19 health crisis.
Samantha Retamar, the Communications Coordinator at Philabundance, said in an interview that the organization is seeing a significant increase in clients during the coronavirus crisis.
Retamar, explained that Philiabundance Philabundance normally helped about 90,000 people struggling with hunger per week. Now, the organization is seeing a 30% to 50% increase in clients across the network.
“About 30% of who we serve are children and 16% are seniors,” Retamar said. “This is such a moving target that we don’t have a solid number yet but according to our agency network is reporting 10, 20, even 50 new clients. We’re seeing an increase of 30 to 50% of clients across the board and across the country. The increase is happening not just in Philadelphia and surrounding counties but throughout the country.”
For those who may have never needed help before and might be unsure of what resources are available, Retamar says the most important factor is making sure you and your family are safe.
“Pantries, soup kitchens, schools, hospitals, the like. Those agencies are the people on the front lines able to get that food out to people in need. Philabundance is that big umbrella and we are the ones that supply the food,” explains Retamar.
According to the Coordinator, the services do not require any kind of documentation.
“With the 43 distribution sites that we’re doing with the city and with Share, another hunger-relief organization, we are not requiring any type of documentation. You don’t have to show your ID or how many people live in your household, just show up at a distribution site, pick up a box and feed your family,” she said.
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“This is gonna be progress and slow and Philabundance understands that and we want people to know that we’re going to be there for them and the safety net system is going to be there for them through the duration of this and even after this,” Retamar said.