UPPER DARBY, Pa. (WPVI) — It’s estimated that 1 in 5 Philadelphians is food-insecure. That’s much higher than the national average, and you can see the need every Friday morning in the parking lot of Christ Lutheran Church in Upper Darby.
“Hello,” volunteers from Philabundance call out repeatedly, as they greet the well over a hundred people lining up for fresh produce at the Philabundance Fresh For All.
“There you go,” says Charlie Flowe as he hands out a cucumber in what is like a free farmers market setting.
It’s a day every week that Flowe looks forward to. “Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, I do,” Flowe says, “I can’t wait.”
Flowe is one of three volunteers at this food distribution site who comes from JEVS, a local non -profit that helps adults with developmental disabilities integrate into the community.
“It’s an excellent partnership,” says Falone Gantt, JEVS Community Participation Program Director, “having our individuals seen, heard and active in the community.”
“The JEVS volunteers,” Philabundance Lead Volunteer, Jack Katz says, “really enjoy it.”
The volunteers hand out food and greetings.
“I love to say hi to them and say good morning,” says Brittanee Patton of Mt Airy.
And Flowe loves to entertain the crowd with his air guitar.
“It gives them pride,” Gantt says, “It give them a sense of independence and hope.”
For Philabundance, the volunteers provide much needed extra hands.
“And they are good workers,” Katz points out.
For the JEVS clients, it’s a chance to network and help develop their skills for a paying job.
“It’s a really essential relationship,” Gantt says, “I like to go by the motto, it takes a village, and it truly does, and our individuals are really a part of the village and an essential piece to the village.”
“I love it here,” Patton says, “because it’s fun.”
If you’d like to help your neighbors in need this holiday season, there are many ways you can Connect. Share. Give.