There are more than 700 food pantries and soup kitchens throughout Philadelphia. Most are small, faith-based operations, often run by seniors with limited resources of their own.
The Coalition’s Hunger Fighters Network supports food pantries through:
- The Walk+Run Against Hunger: Coordinated by the Coalition, this annual event raises $250,000 for more than 100 food pantries, soup kitchens and hunger-relief agencies in the Philadelphia region.
- The VIP (Victory in Partnership) Project: Funded by the William Penn Foundation, this initiative networks food pantries and soup kitchens within five regions of Philadelphia, so they can work together to fight hunger and strengthen the safety net within their communities. Participating programs receive funding, free workshops, technology and other tools to improve their programs.
- Adopt-A-Pantry: This website portal enables visitors to read about food pantries and soup kitchens in Philadelphia, learn about their program needs and donate online to fulfill those needs.
- Volunteer Match: An online database matches website visitors with volunteer opportunities at local food pantries and soup kitchens.
Every fall, the Coalition Against Hunger conducts an annual survey of more than 120 food pantries and soup kitchens to identify their challenges and needs. The 2010 Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen Survey found that:
- 56% of food pantries and soup kitchens served more children in 2010 than in the previous year. That’s considering that the Coalition’s 2009 survey found that 54% of programs were already serving more children than in the year before.
- 54% of programs served more elderly clients in 2010. In 2009, 46% of programs reported serving more seniors than in the year prior.
- 27% of programs reported an increase in the number of clients who were employed.