The Mitzvah Food Program was piloted in 1996 to alleviate hunger and malnutrition among at-risk families in the Greater Philadelphia region.
With broad-based support from the region’s Jewish community and hunger relief agencies, the Mitzvah Food Program, which initially distributed food through a single community site, has expanded its geographic reach throughout Philadelphia and into the region’s lower-income suburban neighborhoods.
The Mitzvah Food Program benefits from both the support of an advisory committee made up of active community members, local nutritionists, and site leaders and a team of dedicated volunteers that keep our pantries and deliveries running smoothly. We also work with local and state hunger relief organizations, synagogues, and community organizations to acquire low-cost food staples and with volunteer groups throughout the region to organize food drives.
During 2021-2022, the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Mitzvah Food Program distributed 1,060,742 pounds of food to 6,530 clients.
WHERE DID MITZVAH FOOD PROGRAM SUPPORT COME FROM IN 2020-2021?
During 2020-2021, the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Mitzvah Food Program distributed 1,060,742 pounds of food to 6,530 clients.
IN-KIND FOOD SUPPORT
SHARE Food Program, a non-profit that provides discounted food to food pantries, shelters, and individuals, provided the Mitzvah Food Program with over $180,000 worth of in-kind food support through the State Food Purchase Program (SFPP).
Philabundance provided $254,784 of in-kind food which included: food boxes from the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) at the Northeast pantry, and fresh and frozen products from local grocery stores to our pantry sites at Northeast and Main Line through their Grocers Against Hunger “satellite” program.
Chelten House Products provided donated pasta and marinara sauce on a monthly basis (worth a total of approximately $35,000) which SHARE received and delivered to the pantry sites.
Quaker Valley Foods provided donations of frozen poultry and fish worth over $12,000 to the Northeast location.
338 individuals in Greater Philadelphia gave gifts totaling $287,086, or 40% of the Mitzvah Food Program’s total cash revenue.
The Mitzvah Food Program received grants totaling of $307,050, or 42% of the Mitzvah Food Program’s total cash revenue. The Jewish Federation’s grant from the Jewish Community Fund supplied 17% of this year’s total cash revenue.
WHAT IS THE CHOICE FOOD PROGRAM?
The Mitzvah Food Program Choice Food Program is our signature food security program located at KleinLife. This program provides 3.5 days’ worth of nutritious meals every month. Clients are able to choose their food using a touchscreen, allowing volunteers to pack their bags according to the client’s preferences and dietary requirements. The unique touchscreen system uses virtual points, allocated to each household monthly, to incentivize healthy eating by pricing healthy options lower (e.g., brown rice is 1 point and white rice is 2).