By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – High Schools in the region are invited to participate in Shire’s Great Food Fight to benefit Philabundance. Last year students raised 64 tons of food to help combat hunger, and the students are ready to do better this year.

The Great Food Fight is a regional student food drive. The goal is to fight hunger by collecting 100 tons of food for Philabundance.

Alison O’Connor is a junior at Germantown Friends School; they won $10,000 in last year’s competition.

“It was a really big wake up call to our whole community about how big of an issue hunger is in the Philadelphia area. This year, it will be bigger and better since people know what to expect.  They are ready to compete and bring more food to help more people.”

Bill Clark, Executive Director of Philadabundance, says the group’s donations are down when the need for food is at an all time high.

“We have a higher percentage of people living in poverty than in the average city,” he says. “In fact, we’ve seen over a 65-percent increase in the number of people and families coming and presenting themselves at local area pantries and cupboards, asking for assistance. And on the other side, food availability is down.”

Clark says last year’s drive provided enough food to give a meal to three sell-out crowds at Citizen’s Bank Park. He says they need even more help this year.

“Philabundance has had to purchase a record amount of food this year just to try to keep some of our pipes full.”

Shire and Philabundance want schools to sign up for the drive.  For more information, go to

Reported by Cherri Gregg, KYW Newsradio 1060

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