Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Serving Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties

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Driving Hunger from Our Region

Heather Redfern
Public Information Manager

When the last bell of the school year rings, many families in the Greater Philadelphia Region are left with a dilemma - how do they replace the nutritious meals their children receive at school every day? Since 2009, SEPTA employees and customers have partnered to help parents fill this meal gap by participating in the Authority' annual "Stop Hunger at Your Station" food drive for Philabundance and its member agencies. Last year, SEPTA customers and employees contributed almost the equivalent of almost 35,000 meals - almost 280,000 meals since the food drive began.

This year's food drive, held June 18-22, is just in time to help hundreds of thousands of children on summer break from school. Members of SEPTA's management team and employee ambassadors visited the William Cramp Elementary School after the last day of school to launch the 2018 campaign.

"The 525 students enrolled here all participate in the free meal program," said SEPTA Deputy General Manager Richard Burnfield. "If you are like me, you look forward to the first day of summer vacation, but the students here might not, because it is the first day without a delicious breakfast and a nutritious lunch. Can you imagine if that were your child? As a parent, put yourself in the shoes of a parent of a child that might not have breakfast or lunch. That is what this is all about and why SEPTA is a partner with Philabundance."

Philabundance serves approximately 90,000 people per week, about 33 percent of those are children. "Throughout the region, 400,000 children are losing their meals," said Philabundance Executive Director Glenn Bergman. "And where those meals are coming from- parents have to find new sites. This program with SEPTA raises food and funds to be used for children throughout the area."

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

"It is easy to make a donation to the campaign," said Burnfield. "Large red donation bins will be placed at Regional Rail Stations and Transportation Centers throughout SEPTA's service region. 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 2018 campaign. For more information on how to make a difference, click here.

SEPTA, Philabundance and Cramp Elementary School employees kicked off the 2018 "Stop Hunger at Your Station" Drive on June 13.

SEPTA Deputy GM Rich Burnfield discussed the importance of contributing to the food drive.

Philabundance Executive Director Glenn Bergman thanked SEPTA employees and customers for their donations over the food drive's first nine years.

Look for the food drive bus at a station near you.