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Feeding Philadelphia’s Neediest

Craig Stroman, founder and CEO, and Susan Heyward, executive director of "We Feed The Homeless Philly."  Photo by Cherri Gregg)

Craig Stroman, founder and CEO, and Susan Heyward, executive director of “We Feed The Homeless Philly.” Photo by Cherri Gregg)

Gregg_Cherrie--NEW Cherri Gregg
Cherri Gregg is the community affairs reporter for KYW Newsr...
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By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Craig Stroman is a housing discrimination investigator by day, but when he’s not at work he’s fighting to end hunger in Philadelphia.

“It’s a spiritual thing for me,” he says. “I’m not looking for any rewards.”

Stroman says his desire to help the hungry began three years ago when he saw a homeless girl stepping outside a tent soon after an intense snowstorm.  He says seeing her standing in center city Philadelphia surrounding by two-foot snow drifts changed his life.

“I saw that little girl and it encouraged me to give back,” says Stroman.  “Her face is still burned in my brain. I had to do something.”

Soon after, Stroman began feeding the homeless in center city.  In 2010 he started “We Feed the Homeless Philly,” a nonprofit organization that offers free meals at least twice a month, outdoors at 18th and Vine Streets.

“We started off with four volunteers,” says Stroman. “Today we boast between five and six hundred volunteers.”

We Feed the Homeless Philly has relationships with area colleges and gives students opportunities to volunteer.  Stroman says his organization has built relationships across Philadelphia that help him serve a community that so desperately needs help.

“All I have to do is put out the call,” he says, “and people respond.  They sponsor families, they buy food, they give whatever families need.”

The reach of We Feed the Homeless Philly is estimated in the thousands.  But what touches Stroman most is helping those who have jobs but still not enough to eat.

“The working poor are a half step away from homelessness,” says Stroman.  “I feel blessed to be able to help.”

On September 29th the nonprofit group will hold its annual fundraiser at the Crystal Tea Room, above Macy’s department store in center city.  Tickets are $65.  “Kindred the Family Soul” is the featured performer, along with Mr. Trombone and Jeff Bradshaw.

For more information or for tickets, go to wefeedthehomelessphilly.org or call 215-764-5688.

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