Today I attended a meeting of agencies and churches that use Philabundance as a food source for their Food Pantries/Cupboards. I am so glad that I went. I learned a lot about the ways that Philabundance can help us to better serve our customers and get more funding for food sources.
The highlight of the meeting was learning about Philadbundance’s new system of rating food cupboards. There will be three levels and the levels are based on how many pounds of food the cupboard distributes, as well as meeting certain requirements and expectation set by Philabundance. Particular benefits accrue if a cupboard has a score of at least 15, such as first pick of food during shortages, preference to receive free grocery store rescue, higher grant level recommendation, and the ability to participate in a volunteer program pilot.
The last time our cupboard was assessed, we were a 10. Now that we have moved into the social hall, have indoor waiting space and easier access to bathrooms… now that we offer choice in food instead of handing the clients random bags… our score should increase, and that will give us a chance of qualifying for the benefits listed above.
Also, our Philabundance grant was cut by two-thirds recently. If we can increase our score, we have an opportunity to take advantage of grant recommendations and potentially an increase in funding.
Philabundance will be coming out in July or August to reassess our service, and hopefully increase our score. We have already undertaken many of things that Philabundance requires to reach that score of 15. But, there is room for growth in some factors, and we are currently developing a plan in the ones listed below to reach that 15:
- Continue to offer a variety of food (something we always work on),
- Provide accurate weekly reporting to Philabundance of who we serve (implementing this plan now), and,
- Increase the amount of food that each guest receives (if possible).
We’d love for you to come help us make these changes in the coming months. It’s going to take some intentional food collection. Stay tuned for plans that will come out of the Wellspring SLG, to involve the whole church in this effort!