GENA, Donatucci Library stock Philabundance

More local families will have food on their tables thanks to a local food drive in South Philly’s Girard Estate neighborhood.

The Girard Estate Neighbors Association welcomed back an annual food collection after a short pause during the pandemic. The drive returned in a big way as the neighborhood group partnered with the Thomas Donatucci Library to stock up Philabundance’s food supply. With that help, Philabundance continued its mission of feeding “underserved” and “food insecure” families in the Philadelphia region.

“With any and every effort GENA makes to give back to our community, our neighbors show up and make us proud,” said Jessica Frye, president, GENA. “As always, we were thrilled to partner with our beloved local library to run another successful drive.”

The curbside food drive outside the library at 1935 Shunk St. collected nonperishable items. Foods such as canned fruits and vegetables, peanut butter, jelly, oatmeal, canned tuna, pasta, dry cereal and soups were donated by local families and collected by members of GENA during the drive. From there, Philabundance made sure the food gets to the right places.

“I was excited to help organize the food drive with GENA and the Donatucci Library,” said Eloise Gibby, GENA board member. “Philabundance made it easy to set up through their website.”

The last time GENA ran a food drive was in the fall of 2020. This year, the three-day drive from July 18 through July 20 produced nearly 180 pounds of food, filling the collection boxes outside the library. Philabundance collected the food shortly after. 

It was a job well done by all partners involved. 

“The Donatucci Library is the de facto community center for Girard Estate and surrounding neighborhoods, so we are always delighted and enthusiastic to collaborate with our community civic organizations,” said David Mariscotti, branch manager, Thomas F. Donatucci Library. “The library is often the first or last stop for residents encountering insecurities including unemployment, health services, housing and food. Bearing witness to these challenges every day at the library reaffirms our gratitude for GENA for their ongoing commitment and efforts to better our whole community with these food drives.”