Several area businesses contributed at least $500
KING OF PRUSSIA, PA – The Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board’s (VFTCB) 8th Annual Freedom from Hunger Food Drive has surpassed its 40k goal by raising the monetary equivalent of 45,000 pounds of food. That means the organization’s fundraiser has contributed 100,000 pounds of food over the lifetime of the drive, which began in 2015.
Several businesses in the region donated $500 or more:
- Wegmans - $1,000 (12,000 pounds)
- GIANT – 100 turkeys (1,000 pounds)
- Valley Forge Casino Resort - $500 (6,000 pounds)
- TD Bank - $500 (6,000 pounds)
“We challenged local leaders, and they answered the call to help those in need,” said Mike Bowman, President & CEO of the VFTCB. “We can’t thank everyone who chipped in enough because every dollar counts. This is how you take responsibility to care for others. This is how you fight hunger together.”
The food drive ran through Oct. 31 to continue to build awareness around the increased need in Montgomery County due to the impact of inflation, and to assist with less available financial aid. This year’s fundraiser – once again held exclusively online – is supporting local food pantries and soup kitchens struggling to feed more in the community with fewer funds through the fall.
The VFTCB again partnered with the MontCo Anti-Hunger Network (MAHN), a coalition of hunger relief organizations working together to keep families stable with food assistance. MAHN provides resources to almost 70 food pantries and soup kitchens that feed those who are food insecure in Montco.
“With community members making tough decisions every day, having businesses like the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board – and several who donated – step up means easing the strain on some of our residents and our organization by providing the support that we haven’t been seeing as much since the pandemic,” said Amanda Musselman, the new Executive Director of MAHN. “All people deserve access to healthy, nutritious foods, so we appreciate anyone who contributed to make our mission a reality.”
All pantries and soup kitchens in the county reported an increase in need – up 150%, and in some areas, 364% – anywhere from at least 10 to more than 50 or even hundreds more additional households:
- Eastern Montgomery County/Willow Grove – 364% (125 households a month in 2021 to 580 in 2022)
- Soup kitchens – more than 100%
- Lansdale – more than 60%
- Main Line – almost 60%
- Norristown – almost 40%
Monetary donations are most impactful to aid with purchasing high-demand and much-needed items, including for personal care, such as: toothpaste/toothbrushes, shampoo, soap, diapers, underwear, t-shirts, etc. Some pantries are also in need of halal/kosher meat.
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 100,000 pounds of food to feed the hungry in Montco. In its eighth 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 www.valleyforge.org/hunger.
If anyone needs assistance, view the list of MAHN’s food pantries and soup kitchens here: https://www.montcoantihunger.org/mahn-member-food-pantries.html.
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.