6 Philly Food Nonprofits You Should Volunteer With
Healthy food access in Philly is marked by striking inequality. For every person buying fresh produce at Whole Foods or dining at the hippest vegan restaurants in Center City, there's a family with no access to nutritious cuisine. In fact, at the end of 2014, 1 in 4 Philadelphians lived in high-poverty areas with no healthy food retailers nearby.
Angered by this unjust state of affairs? Fret not, because there are plenty of opportunities for you to help change it. We've rounded up just a few of the many Philly food nonprofits looking for volunteers.
Got no time on your hands? You can still pitch in—all of these organizations welcome donations.
1. The Food Trust
For the past 25 years, The Food Trust has worked to "ensure that everyone has access to affordable, nutritious food and information to make healthy decisions." They're looking for volunteers to pitch in at one of their many farmers' markets around the city, at a night market, or even in the organization's office.
2. Fair Food
Fair Food helps connect local farmers with restaurants and consumers. As part of their efforts, the organization sells locally made food products at their Reading Terminal Market Farmstand (which accepts SNAP benefits!). Fair Food is looking for people to volunteer there weekly, but you're welcome to help out at one of their special events if you don't have time for a regular shift.
3. Sunday Suppers
In partnership with the Memphis Street Academy, Sunday Suppers works to improve food access and nutrition education in Kensington. Their main project is hosting weekly family dinners in the neighborhood, and they're looking for volunteers to help run these meals. However, there are plenty of other options: Sunday Suppers is also seeking photographers, videographers, and graphic designers, as well as volunteers to aid in their wellness workshops.
As the largest hunger relief organization in the region, Philabundance has a variety of ways for volunteers to pitch in. You can pack and sort food at their Hunger Relief Center in South Philly, give out free produce at one of their 'markets' around the city, distribute food to kids, or help out at their non-profit grocery store in Chester.
Greensgrow is a sprawling organization—they describe themselves as an 'Idea Farm'—whose main goal is to promote community urban farming and gardening. With so many projects going on, there's a lot you can do to help out. You can get your hands dirty at their farm in Kensington, work at their nearby farmstand or community kitchen, or sort food for their community-supported agriculture (CSA) program.
6. Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger
The Hunger Coalition promotes food justice in a number of ways: they connect people with nearby food pantries, help them obtain food assistance benefits, and advocate for policies to alleviate food insecurity.
They're looking for volunteers to aid in all of these programs. If you're more hands-on, you can work at one of the many soup kitchens and food pantries they partner with, or help educate people about food assistance programs. Prefer to stay on the sidelines? Do admin work at their office or sign up to receive 'Advocacy Alerts.'