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Ending hunger while also improving access to healthier food can be a difficult task. A group in northwest Philadelphia is bringing people from various organizations together to make this task a little easier.
A handful of graduate students from La Salle University had already been partnering with local businesses and community and religious groups to aid neighbors’ access to healthy food. Through these partnerships they had accomplished a lot, like a huge Easter food drive that fed over 2,000 people. But they wanted to do more.
“We realized as we were visiting all these churches, and talking with all these people, that there were a lot of organizations in this neighborhood that were addressing hunger and nutrition issues,” Tom Wingert, an MBA candidate at La Salle, explained, “but none of them were necessarily working together.”
So Wingert and his colleagues invited Philadelphia’s Common Market, St. Christopher’s Foundation, MANNA, The Food Trust, Germantown United CDC (GUCDC), Philabundance and many others to a meeting to discuss ways to collaborate on ending hunger with healthy, nutritious food.
The result: The Germantown Hunger Network; a group of individuals and organizations that are committed to helping the northwest neighborhood of Germantown end hunger and promote healthy eating.
As a near neighbor to La Salle with lots of enthusiasm and a strong civic network already in place, Germantown was an ideal target for the new initiative.
Wingert outlined hopes for local soup kitchens and food pantries previously unconnected in their operations to hold monthly or biweekly meetings for, among other things, resource sharing and best-practice dialogues.
He hopes the Germantown Hunger Network could eventually be adapted for other neighborhoods.
Do you live in Germantown? Connect with the Germantown Hunger Network and get involved!
Are there groups working together in your neighborhood to battle hunger and obesity?