Program will be held solely online throughout March & April
KING OF PRUSSIA, PA – To commemorate the 10th anniversaries of both the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board’s (VFTCB) Freedom from Hunger Drive and the MontCo Anti-Hunger Network (MAHN), the VFTCB will host its 2nd Freedom from Hunger Spring Drive in March and April. The total goal for the entire year will be $10,000 to mark the milestone with the spring drive targeting $2,500, the equivalent of 30,000 pounds of food.
In Montco, food pantries surveyed by MAHN between 2022 and 2023, saw a 60.7% increase in the number of individuals served on average at each pantry.
“Food insecurity is skyrocketing,” said MAHN’s Executive Director, Shannon Isaacs. “Close to 20% of households with children are food insecure in the United StatesThis is about more than just food, it is about health and education. Nutrition is critical to functioning. When kids are hungry, they can’t learn at school. We’re concerned about people’s health and the well-being of our neighbors. We need to act on this crisis. This drive makes a tremendous difference, supporting the food safety net across the county. Together, we are better able to create social impact than we are alone.”
The fundraiser – once again held exclusively online – will run throughout March and April to continue to build awareness around the increased need in Montgomery County, especially with increasing transportation costs connected to food insecurity, and less available resources. The VFTCB will still hold another drive in the fall as well.
The VFTCB is again partnering with MAHN, a coalition of hunger relief organizations working together to keep families stable with food assistance. MAHN provides resources to almost 70 free meal providers that feed those who are food insecure in Montco.
Donations to the food safety net system in the spring have traditionally been low. Nationally, 1.8 million more homes became severely food insecure in 2022 in comparison to the previous year, according to the most recent federal food insecurity data from the USDA.
“We are seeing a tremendous uptick in visitation of food pantries and demand for emergency food in both the county, and nationally,” Isaacs said. “An overwhelming majority of food pantries on the Main Line reported not having enough food, a dramatic change from previous years. The shortage is reflected in food pantries across the county.
Monetary donations provide the greatest flexibility in combating hunger because MAHN can purchase food wholesale, saving the network anywhere from $1-3 a pound, while immediately responding to critical needs.
“As leaders, we can’t keep letting this happen,” said Mike Bowman, President & CEO of the VFTCB. “We need local businesses, and individuals, to step up to fight hunger with us.”
The Freedom from Hunger Food Drive benefits all people accessing food pantry services, and was created as a farewell “gift” to Pope Francis in 2015 when the Pontiff stayed in Montgomery County at the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary during the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. To date, the VFTCB has collected more than 270,000 pounds of food to feed the hungry in Montco. In its 10th year, the drive continues to support the community that the tourism board diligently promotes to visitors across the nation, and around the world. To donate, visit
What is now known as the MontCo Anti-Hunger Network was founded in 2014 to help food pantries share food with each other, and strengthen the food safety net in Montgomery County. With financial support from the HealthSpark Foundation, a few leaders of regional agencies formed a task force to explore and tackle the problems around large scale fresh food donations. Since then, MAHN has contributed to county food safety net resilience by establishing and building a network of 68 historically siloed food pantries and free meal providers, and developing a highly valued, countywide Food Resource Program. Additionally, MAHN catalyzes systems-changing practices that decrease barriers to obtaining food assistance, and raises hunger awareness among the general public, and elected officials.
If anyone needs assistance, view the list of MAHN’s food pantries and soup kitchens, hours, as well as other resources here:

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.