We all have heard the news that funds for SNAP, the government food assistance program, have been cut. But how many of us also know that more than 400, 000 people in the five county Philadelphia area are hungry and unable to put enough food on the table? Most of these people will have to rely on local food banks for help to make it through each month.
Food For All is a program that connects corporations, schools and universities, faith communities, and civic organizations and their employees with the nonprofit Triskeles, Inc., and local food pantries or food banks in a collaborative effort to provide healthy, fresh food for people who are food insecure.
Heading into its third year, this network provided over 16,000 pounds of fresh vegetables for area food banks in 2013. The program promises to yield even more vegetables in the 2014 growing season, with over 300 garden beds opening up across the region for planting this April, including 86 potential new raised garden beds.
Triskeles’ staff has installed raised garden beds at large sites such as Philadelphia’s Drexel University’s Dornsife Center for Community Partnerships, Vanguard and QVC, as well as small organizations and businesses. Working side-by-side with Triskeles staff, employees at each site roll up their sleeves and tuck in their ties to plant and maintain the gardens from April to October, and they deliver fresh vegetables such as squash, potatoes, carrots, kale and chard to local food pantries and food banks.
It’s a collaboration that is working to provide healthy vegetables to compliment the boxed and canned goods food banks typically offer residents. A unique program, it is spreading throughout the region and has been referred to as “a model for our nation” by Mike McGrath of WHYY’s You Bet Your Garden.
Join the fresh food revolution that is Food For All and provide hungry residents from Chester, Montgomery, Delaware and Philadelphia Counties with healthy, fresh vegetables. Interested organizations should contact Triskeles Program Coordinator, Lauren Blood, at (610) 321-9876 x 107 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.