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Philabundance announces ambitious program to give people more than food

March 11, 2019, Alfred Lubrano - The Philadelphia Inquirer

Philabundance is embarking on a far-reaching plan to attack hunger.

Ambitiously titled “Ending Hunger. For Good,” the initiative will involve Philabundance’s collaborating with partners who provide social services to low-income people in the region, then monitoring the results over time.

Philabundance, the region’s leading hunger-relief agency, provides food for 350 neighborhood pantries, soup kitchens, and other organizations in a nine-county area serving 90,000 people each week. But, like other major food banks across America that are rethinking the service they provide, the agency has decided to expand its role.

“Traditional food banking alone won’t solve the hunger crisis in our area,” said Glenn Bergman, the agency’s executive director. “We need a new solution to address long-term food security, and end hunger.”

The idea is for Philabundance to enter into pilot partnerships with agencies that deal with issues such as financial literacy, health, housing, job assistance, and education.

It’s called a “food-plus” model, said Melanie Cataldi, chief impact officer at the agency, who’s heading a new department dedicated to establishing relationships with social-service organizations, as well as implementing and monitoring pilot results.

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