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Pennsylvanians Tackling Hunger, Block By Block

PHOTO: These are challenging economic times for thousands of Pennsylvanians, but for some in particular, just keeping food on the table can be a monumental task.

PHOTO: These are challenging economic times for thousands of Pennsylvanians, but for some in particular, just keeping food on the table can be a monumental task.


October 24, 2012

PHILADELPHIA - Residents in one Philadelphia neighborhood hard-hit by poverty are getting crucial information they need this week to help keep food on the table.

The Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger is spearheading an effort called, 'Fighting Hunger Block by Block.' The group's executive director, Carey Morgan, says it includes handing out information at various SEPTA stops around North Philadelphia today to let people know about a number of food resources.

"Whether it's SNAP, which was formerly known as food stamps, or a meals program nearby, or a food pantry nearby, or a farmer's market that accepts food stamps."

Councilwoman Cindy Bass, who represents Nicetown and the rest of Philadelphia's 8th District, says too many residents are making choices that sacrifice food quality for quantity, or spending what could be money for food on medications they need.

"We need to have a 'nutrition network,' as I call it, of places where people can go, can get food, can find out about additional food resources that are available to make ends meet.”

Morgan says publicizing and mobilizing the effort is a way to bring the problem of hunger – and solutions to it – out in the open.

"Taking that concept of almost like a park clean-up, and translating it to hunger. How can we make an intensive community effort where no one is stigmatized about the issue, everybody has the information they need, and is enabled to act upon it?"

Volunteers will also knock on several hundred doors in Philadelphia's Nicetown section this Saturday, distributing the same kinds of information. The coalition says one in three residents of that neighborhood lives in poverty, which means an annual income of less than $23,000 for a family of four.

More information on the effort is online at hungercoalition.org.

Tom Joseph, Public News Service - PA