Annual Food Drive links community to local food pantries to help Montgomery County neighbors in need
KING OF PRUSSIA, PA – The Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board’s (VFTCB) third annual Valley Forge Freedom from Hunger Food Drive, which took place during the last two weeks of September, collected over 4,800 pounds of food donations and exceeded the Board’s goal by more than 300 pounds of food. The VFTCB has increased its goal for donations every year since the drive began in 2015 and to date has collected over 9,000 pounds of food to feed the hungry in Montgomery County, PA.
“We are ecstatic to have exceeded our goal by more than 300 pounds for this year’s Valley Forge Freedom from Hunger Food Drive thanks to the generosity of those who made food and monetary donations. It is so important to the VFTCB that we keep our commitment to run this annual food drive and support our residents in Montgomery County, especially those who are in times of need,” said Mike Bowman, President & CEO of the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board.
The VFTCB created the Valley Forge Freedom from Hunger Food Drive in 2015 when Pope Francis stayed in Montgomery County at the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary during the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.
“We established the Freedom from Hunger Food Drive as the county’s farewell gift to Pope Francis, and we think he would be proud of the work we have done so far and will continue to do for years to come,” said Bowman.
In a special effort to give back during the Freedom from Hunger Food Drive, VFTCB staff and the Montgomery County Commissioners worked alongside Manna on Main Street employees and students from the Culinary Arts Institute at Montgomery County Community College preparing meals for Manna’s guests on Tuesday, September 26.
At the event, VFTCB President & CEO Mike Bowman, a former executive chef with 30+ years of hospitality experience, led the kitchen team in preparing a three-course meal for more than 100 of Manna on Main Street’s guests.
As part of the Freedom from Hunger Food Drive, the VFTCB again partnered with HealthSpark Foundation – a private, independent foundation providing support to organizations that serve the unmet health and human service needs of residents living in and organizations serving Montgomery County – and the MontCo Anti-Hunger Network – a coalition of hunger relief organizations working together to make healthy foods available to all communities in Montgomery County.
“Partnering with leaders like those at the VFTCB makes a world of difference in our work,” said MAHN (MontCo Anti-Hunger Network) Administrator Paula Schafer. “Everyone benefits from a more vibrant community when the basic needs of its residents are met.”
The food generated by the Valley Forge Freedom from Hunger Food Drive is going to nourish many of the 25,000 people that pantries across Montgomery County help feed.
To learn more about the VFTCB’s Valley Forge Freedom from Hunger Food Drive, visit www.valleyforge.org/hunger.
The Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board (VFTCB) is a nonprofit, membership-based sales and marketing organization that actively promotes Valley Forge and Montgomery County, PA as a convention site and leisure visitor destination by encouraging patronage of its 500+ member hotels, restaurants, attractions, and services. The award-winning website links visitors, meeting planners, tour operators, and residents to a diverse portfolio of brands focused on reasons to visit the region. The website also hosts The Montco Explorer, a nationally-recognized blog.