Our five pantries distribute nutritious food to all who are in need, regardless of race, income, gender, age or religion. We serve over 8,200 individuals per year.
Visitors choose the foods they like from the inventory, rather than receiving a one-size-fits-all package. The pantries are stocked thanks to donations from generous community members, the Jewish Federation, the Pennsylvania State Food Purchase Program, grants, Philabundance, and other sources.
Why it Matters
Over 23,000 (12%) Jewish households in our region face food insecurity, with 8% of households reporting that they receive SNAP benefits. Approximately 1 in 7 Jewish households are living in or near poverty, defined as living at or below 200% of the federal poverty line. Food insecurity is significantly higher among those at or below poverty thresholds, with 46% of Jewish households that are at or below 200% of the federal poverty index identified as food insecure, strongly suggesting that SNAP and other public food assistance are not meeting their needs. Also notable is that one in five households (19%) with children is food insecure.
- 15% of Jewish households are receiving some sort of public benefit, including SSI, SSDI, PACE or SNAP.
- More than 20 percent of adults ages 18 to 39 are poor or near poor, along with 14 percent of adults age 65 or older.
- One in four households in Delaware County and one in five households in Philadelphia County are poor or near poor.
- 31% of Jewish who emigrated from Russia or the FSU are at or below 200 percent of the poverty line (poor or near poor).
National Institutes of Health Study
The University of Pennsylvania, fueled by a $2.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, is doing a research study that will examine how food pantry clients are influenced by on-screen interventions, or “nudges.” The Mitzvah Food Program is participating in that study.
Donate to the food pantries
You can support the Mitzvah Food Program’s work by dropping off non-perishable kosher food, toiletries and cleaning supplies at any of the food pantries (see below for locations). Or simply give a gift from your heart so that we can keep the food pantries supplied.
For donation drop-offs at any of our pantry locations, please contact us in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215.832.0509.
It doesn’t take a big commitment to make a big impact. The people we serve enjoy meeting with and talking to our volunteers. Any help you can provide would be a great service to individuals and families in need. Fill out the volunteer form today.
High Holiday Food Drive
During the High Holiday season, the Jewish Federation typically brings together dozens of local organizations to collect 60,000 pounds of food for Mitzvah Food Program clients. However, due to the challenges presented by COVID-19, the 2021 drive was modified to collect grocery store gift cards to provide better flexibility for the clients. Learn more about the grocery store gift card drive here.