A long-running social-service provider located in Germantown is adding one more offering: A food bank.
The Feeding Friends of Germantown Food Bank kicked off on Wednesday, with the mission of providing residents with access to nutritious and affordable food.
Administered by Tabor Children’s Service, a non-profit based on Armat St. near E. Chelten Ave., the program is being offered the first and third Wednesday of the month on a six-month trial basis. The hope is that it will continue and expand.
It’s the latest service for Tabor, which has provided various programs for children and families throughout the Philadelphia area for more than 100 years, said Amanda Pchelka, Tabor’s education and training coordinator.
“Food poverty is a problem in various communities in Philadelphia,” said Pchelka, “and it’s something that we knew we had the resources to address.”
One of many
Beyond addressing food insecurity, Tabor is a multi-service child welfare agency offering programs related to foster care, special needs adoption, in-home services, adolescent life-skills training and independent living services, parenting classes and community living homes.
“One thing we have noticed about presence here in the neighborhood is that people know the Tabor name, but don’t know the physical location,” said Pchelka. “It’s just one way that we’ve identified that we can expand our horizons and provide a service to people who are in need.”
While dozens of social workers assist approximately 200 families for Tabor, Pchelka said that the food bank could currently administer to about 50 people on a bi-weekly basis. Despite its name, the food bank is open to any Northwest Philadelphia resident.
According to Pchelka, other food banks aren’t in operation on this day, meaning expanded service for the neighborhood and no competition with other food providers.
A visitor to the food bank receives a large box containing a variety of non-perishable items, designed to provide two weeks of food for a small family, until the next distribution date.
Dawn Potalivo, Tabor’s director of supervised independent living, said FFG hopes to add fresh foods to its offerings when they become better known in the community.
“Our goal is healthier and healthier,” said Potalivo, who expressed an interest in eventually partnering with community gardens and, eventually, Philabundance.
While only a handful of people arrived in the program’s first two hours this week, Tabor’s staff is hopeful that the program will grow.
“Our goal is to get the word out in Germantown first,” said Pchelka, “and slowly start spreading throughout Northwest Philadelphia.”
Tabor has partnered with Operation Get In Shape to host a fundraiser to benefit abused and neglected children. The cardio-blast fitness class will be held at Tabor, 5 p.m. on Monday.
Tabor has also registered with the Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee to participate in the annual Philly Spring Cleaning Day on April 13.
The organization will also host a community forum on April 17 to discuss the implementation of the Philadelphia Department of Human Services’ Improving Outcomes for Children initiative.