WILLOW GROVE -- Boxed food was distributed Thursday to 1,000 vehicles at a contactless drive-through event held at the Willow Grove Park Mall in Abington Township. The event was a collaborative effort led by MontCo Anti-Hunger Network in response to increased hunger created by the effects of COVID 19.
“Ordinarily, MAHN provides direct support to food pantries, but these are not ordinary times” said MAHN Administrator Paula Schafer. “Our primary goal is to leverage relationships and resources to make sure people stay fed. Today, twelve weeks into the pandemic, that means a community food giveaway.”
County food pantry use has been on the rise since the onset of COVID 19. The mandated closing of non-essential businesses put many who lost jobs in dire financial circumstances. “Just about all of our 38 member food pantries across the county have seen an increase in client volume. Twenty-five report their numbers are double to triple the norm,” Schafer said.
Montgomery County Department of Public Safety, Arcadia University Department of Civic and Community Engagement, RSVP of Montgomery County and Philabundance are partnering with MAHN to conduct weekly food distributions through June. Upcoming event locations will be announced when their approval is finalized.
The food boxes are the product of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, providing direct relief to food producers and distributors whose businesses have been adversely impacted by the virus pandemic and to people teetering on the edge of stability as a result of income loss. Each vehicle received a box of fresh produce and a box of mixed dairy products. Additional event information can be found at www.montcoantihunger.org.