November Nonprofit Spotlight
Share Food Program
Share Food Program has been selected for November’s Nonprofit Spotlight!
Who They Are:
Share Food Program (“Share“) is the largest-serving hunger relief organization in the Philadelphia region, and one of the largest independent food banks in the nation. Share’s distributed food comes from government partners, supermarkets, wholesalers, restaurants, farms, food drives, and more. Share purchases, coordinates, stores, packages, and distributes millions of pounds of food every month. The end goal? Raising support and breaking down barriers for hungry neighbors in need.
Before the COVID-19 crisis began, Share distributed food to 700,000 individuals in need each month, nearly half of whom were children and seniors. The need has risen sharply since early 2020—Share now serves 1 million individuals each month. Share’s work and impact is made possible through critical partnerships with nearly 800 schools and 450 community-based organizations across the region, and by the vision and generosity of our volunteers, supporters, donors and sponsors.
Share started in 1986 as a 501(c)(3) food co-op for communities in need of access to low-cost food in Philadelphia. In 1991, Share was asked by public partners to take on a leadership role in fighting regional hunger, and to manage programs that bring food to the region’s children, families, and seniors most in need. As it continues to expand its many programs and endeavors, Share prioritizes racial equity and poverty.
What kind of support does Share need the most right now?
As we continue to see rising food insecurity numbers and supply chain issues worsen, all support from partners and community advocates enables Share to help hundreds of thousands of neighbors in need. Time or money to spare is always invaluable, and has an immediate impact in Share’s mission to end hunger in the region. There are a number of volunteer opportunities at Share — folks can pack boxes, make deliveries, support remote calling, and work on our quarter-acre farm. Also, donations at any level help Share meet the growing, urgent need for food assistance in the Greater Philadelphia area. Supporting Share in any of these ways directly translates to getting healthy food onto people’s tables.
What is one thing you wish people knew about Share that they may not?
That’s actually a tough one! There are so many different ways Share has been working to feed children, families, and seniors for decades now, and they are still coming up with new, innovative methods as we speak. If I had to pick one thing, I’d go with one of the most recent developments. Recently, Share welcomed Philly Food Rescue (PFR) into the Share Food Program family. It is pretty amazing what they’ve been doing, and what Share and PFR are now doing together. Using a special volunteer-facing app, PFR is rescuing and redirecting fresh, surplus food from businesses and bringing it directly to nearby organizations serving our neighbors. Share is not just tackling food insecurity in this case, but also eliminating food waste and caring for the environment. Here’s a neat video that sums up how it works.
What is the most unique donation Share has received?
Share has been really fortunate and grateful for the donations they have received over the years. They all make a difference. That said, one of the more unique acts of generosity came in the form of a Segway. Share’s main warehouse is huge and they have to move fast to do what they do— and wheels have certainly been known to outpace feet.
For more information, feel free to visit their website: sharefoodprogram.org.