PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In an effort to make sure no families go hungry during the coronavirus pandemic, Pennsylvania food banks are now getting nearly $16 million in fundraising. Organizations are working in overdrive to make sure people are fed.
Fifteen thousand pounds of food moved through Roxborough Church Saturday and into the hands of about 600 families across the Philadelphia region. Equipped with gloves and masks, this limited contact operation is meant to help seniors considered too fragile to pick up food on their own and to assist those facing food insecurity as a result of the spread of COVID-19 and subsequent layoffs.
“We feel the safest way to get food to people in this pandemic is through meal delivery, especially for seniors,” Easter Outreach Director Pastor Vito Baldini said.
Easter Outreach, a partnership of some 90 churches, usually does one mass delivery for Easter each year.
“About a month ago we decided to do food now,” said Pastor Baldini.
And with help from Philadbundance and other agencies, Easter Outreach has made 3,000 deliveries with more to come.
These volunteers are not the only ones going the extra mile. Ongoing donations are keeping the food pantry at Manor College in Jenkintown stocked.
Staff members developed “Manny’s To-Go” service, where students can safely pick up a bag of food at a campus gazebo without risking being physically close together.
“Our students have shared with us that they or their families have been furloughed,” Manor College President Jonathan Peri said. “We are helping those families, making sure they don’t have unmet food needs.”
There is no timeline yet as far as when Pennsylvania will return to normal. On Friday, Gov. Tom Wolf outlined his standards before that could happen, including having enough personal protective equipment and diagnostic testing available.
Until the commonwealth reopens, these volunteers among others remain at the forefront when it comes to addressing food insecurity as a result of COVID-19.
Easter Outreach is hoping for more volunteers to help deliver these goods to those in need. For more information on how you can help, click here.