High-impact holiday giving can make a big difference

Trying to decide what to do before year’s end to help those less fortunate?

The executive director of  the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for High Impact Philanthropy, which puts out an annual giving guide, says conventional drives that collect packaged food gather a mix of food that often does not match a family’s needs or provide balanced nutrition. Katherina Rosqueta said it’s better to give money to a food bank. “There’s a whole network of food banks across the country that can now take advantage of large surpluses of food that the food sector–grocery stores, farmers, food packagers–will donate.  The network of food banks just need to charge a small handling fee in order to distribute that,” Rosqueta said. “So that’s 10 to 20 cents for a pound of food and at retail that same pound of food would probably cost us about $2.”   Rosqueta said this year’s guide provides a top-10 list of ways to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others.  Among her recommendations for high-impact giving: is the Children’s Literacy Initiative in Philadelphia; “home-visitation programs” that connect low-income pregnant women with nurses who offer counseling and education; and groups such as Save the Children and UNICEF that deliver life-saving health care across the world.

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