Philabundance today announced that it will nearly triple the number of free summer meals it is offering for children this year, providing about 57,000 meals to kids who lose their school breakfast and lunch when school is out for the summer. Thanks to new partnerships and generous funding from valued corporate partner GIANT Food Stores, Philabundance will now better help fill the summer meal gap through its LunchBox program, an important addition to its year-round efforts providing food for those in need – and their children.

“For hundreds of thousands of kids across the Delaware Valley, summer vacation is not just a break from school, but also from the reliability of school meals,” explained Philabundance Executive Director Glenn Bergman. “Kids should go to bed tired out from summer fun, not hungry.”

Approximately 400,000 children in Philabundance’s nine-county service area receive school meals, and now face uncertainty about whether they will have enough to eat this summer. To help fill that gap, the LunchBox program will provide 57,000 meals to children 18 years and younger through the end of August, thanks to the generosity of GIANT Food Stores, which made the largest one-time corporate donation to Philabundance in its history. Each week, free and nutritious meals with items like wraps, fruits, veggies and milk will be available at Philabundance partner agencies; some meals will be fresh, while others are shelf-stable, with items like barbecue chicken, fruit cups, hummus dip, and more. LunchBox locations are prepared by students at the Philabundance Community Kitchen (PCK), a culinary job training program for adults with low-to-no income, and distribution locations are available on Philabundance’s website.

“Food insecurity is a problem in every community, and it’s something we take very seriously at GIANT – more so when it effects our children,” said John Ruane, Senior Vice President of Merchandising at GIANT Food Stores and Philabundance Board Member. “In this fourth year of supporting the LunchBox Program, we couldn’t be more appreciative of our long-standing partnership with Philabundance and value each other's mission to end hunger in the region. By working together on this and several other initiatives, we are helping make a difference where it matters most."

Philabundance serves 90,000 people each week, 30 percent of whom are children. Philabundance cannot achieve its mission of driving hunger from our communities today and ending hunger for good without the support of organizations, corporations and the general public. Philabundance is excited to partner for the first time with The Police Athletic League of Philadelphia, the Narberth Community Food Pantry and Greene Street Friends School.

Although Philabundance is excited to have almost tripled the number of meals the LunchBox program will provide in 2019, it is just one of many hunger-fighting organizations that offer summer meals for children. The Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger’s Summer Meals Map can help youth locate free summer meal sites in their neighborhoods.

For those who want to help beat summer hunger:

Purchase Philabundance’s Abundantly Good products, proceeds of which benefit those facing hunger and Lancaster dairy farmers, and rescue food from going to waste. The Common Market, DiBruno Brothers, Riverwards Produce and Third Wheel Cheese Company sell Abundantly Good. Learn more: https://www.philabundance.org/upcycle/

Ordering from PCKatering, PCK’s social enterprise, allows customers to eat great food, proceeds of which go back into feeding the community. Cater a family picnic, graduation party or meeting and help feed those in need.

Donate to Philabundance’s fight against hunger. Each dollar donated helps Philabundance provide two meals for a neighbor in need. Donate now or learn more.

For more information, please visit www.philabundance.org/summer-hunger or contact Lisa Ryan, public relations associate at Philabundance, at 724-259-3524 x1155 or lryan@philabundance.org.

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