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Center Moderates Panel on Addressing Hunger and Food Insecurity in Our Communities

December 21, 2020

By Alissa Falcone

The Center for Hunger-Free Communities participated in a Dec. 17 panel, “Addressing Hunger and Food Insecurity in Our Communities,” that was hosted by Drexel Alumni and featured representatives from local and international organizations. Moderated by Center staff member Jenay Smith, the panel discussed barriers, solutions and the impact of COVID-19 on food insecurity and featured representatives from Sharing Excess, World Vision USA, West Philadelphia Bunny Hop, and the Sunday Love Project.

More than 100 Drexel alumni signed up for the panel and were later sent a resource guide [PDF], sharing information on how to take action and support those issues and organizations.

The panel was a follow up to the efforts of Giving Tuesday, in which Drexel University raised more than $30,000 to share among Drexel partners and programs related to food insecurity. The annual Alumni Turkey Project benefitted from that, as well as Drexel’s student food pantry, Mario’s Market; the Student Meal Swipe Donation Program for students in need to swipe into the dining hall without a meal plan; and the Emergency Fund for Families at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, which provides basic needs, including groceries, to patient families. Drexel Alumni also raised a record-breaking $92,000 to buy more than 2,400 turkeys and 14,000 sides to give to 52 community organizers to share with their communities as part of the annual Turkey Drive.

“We know that this year has been very challenging on a personal level for many of the organizations and families that we work with,” said Drexel Alumni Board of Governors Chair Amish Desai. “So, even though we knew the pandemic might make our efforts around the Alumni Turkey Project look different, we were more committed than ever to ensuring that we could continue to serve more than 2,000 families in the Philadelphia region, as we have done each year for more than four decades.”

“Whether it’s simply having a conversation with our families about the needs in our communities, finding ways to reduce our own food waste, or getting involved with local organizations, this year’s Alumni Turkey Project showed that each one of us has a role to play in addressing these challenges, and collectively, we can come together to make an impact,” said Desai.

Read the full story here and view the full recording of the panel here.