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'Tis the Season to 'Stop Hunger'

Heather Redfern
SEPTA Public Information Manager

When Pope Francis visited Philadelphia in September, he spoke of helping our neighbors in need. SEPTA riders can act upon the Pontiff's call for community service by participating in the Authority's seventh annual "Stop Hunger At Your Station" food drive to support Philabundance. The drive will take place from October 19-30, with donation bins at 43 SEPTA locations.

"At this time of year, many people are prepping their own kitchens for the holiday and winter seasons, stocking up on hearty canned and dry foods," said SEPTA GM Jeff Knueppel at the food drive kick-off rally at Dilworth Park. "They aren't looking at their cabinets to see what extra items they might have to donate to the local food bank. That means that donations to Philabundance are diminishing."

Philabundance provides much needed food for more than 90,000 people per week through direct services and a network of agencies operating emergency food kitchens and cupboards, and other community distribution programs. Donations received through food drives like "Stop Hunger At Your Station" are vital to helping Philabundance feed families across the Greater Philadelphia region.

"Of the people we serve each week, 30 percent are children and 15 percent are seniors," said Philabundance Executive Director Glenn Bergman. "Approximately 750,000 people in our area still face hunger. SEPTA's partnership is extremely vital to helping feed our neighbors in need. It is literally driving hunger from our communities and ultimately helping us end hunger forever."

Philabundance especially needs donations of canned pastas, soups and beef stews; canned vegetables and fruit; creamy peanut butter; jelly; and shelf-stable tuna - all staples for any kitchen.

Large red donation bins will be placed at Regional Rail Stations and Transportation Centers throughout SEPTA's service region. For a list of drop-off locations, click here. Donations can also be made online or by contributing $10 by texting "Food" to 41010. For every dollar donated, Philabundance can provide two meals. Any monetary contribution will count toward the total collected through the SEPTA 2015 campaign.

Since 2009, the Authority's customers and employees have donated more than 100 tons of food, providing over 200,000 meals, for families across the SEPTA service region.

"Our customers and employees have demonstrated every year how much they care about our region and their neighbors," said Knueppel. "We carry over one million riders per day. If each passenger donated just one can to the food drive, we could help Philabundance feed our area's hungry for months to come."

SEPTA GM Jeff Knueppel (left) and Philabundance Executive Director Glenn Bergman marked the launch of the seventh "Stop Hunger At Your Station" food drive with a pep rally at Dilworth Park.

Philabundance needs donations like these to help feed Greater Philadelphia region residents in need.

SEPTA and Philabundance employees are ready for the 2015 "Stop Hunger At Your Station" food drive.

Jacquelyn Trask was just one of SEPTA's many employee ambassdors spreading the word about the food drive to the Authority's customers.