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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – If you have a car and a couple free hours a week, one organization could use your help. Philabundance needs volunteer drivers for its Grocers Against Hunger program.
“If we don’t get them food, then they’ll go hungry,” Steven Schiavone says.
Schiavone is the executive director at Aid for Friends, an organization that partners with Philabundance to provide free meals to 1,500 isolated or home-bound elderly and disabled people throughout the Delaware Valley.
Donations from stores like Sam’s Club in Northeast Philadelphia save Aid for Friends from buying food, but that’s only one piece of the puzzle.
“Distribution is really the hard part,” Schiavone says. “There are opportunities to get more food, but we don’t have the drivers to get the food.”
And it’s a problem being felt across the Grocers Against Hunger program.
Nearly 300 grocers are now donating excess food that would otherwise go to waste to 350 Philabundance agencies, but the partnership needs help transporting that food from the stores to the people in need at local organizations.
“We need more people with cars to help pick that up, to keep that food from going to waste,” Philabundance’s Jaclyn Elwell says.
Volunteers need only have their own car, preferably a larger vehicle like an SUV or truck, and a commitment of two to three hours one day a week.
The goal is volunteering made easy.
“We would love to partner volunteers with a grocery store in their area and an agency in their area,” Elwell says.
And considering the Sam’s Club on Franklin Mills Circle donated 400,000 pounds of food last year alone, no one wants to see all of that go to waste.
“This all used to go in a compactor at one time, if you can believe that,” Sam’s Club Manager John Mullen says. “It’s good stuff. Everybody eats it. It’s a win, win for everybody.”
Learn how you can help at philabundance.org.