Mural coming to Philabundance

A new community-inspired mural will overlook Pattison Avenue at Philabundance’s Hunger Relief Center. 

Designed by renowned artist Calo Rosa, the mural celebrated the impact of Philabundance’s work, feeding local food-insecure families. The mural comes through a partnership between Philabundance and Mural Arts Philadelphia and will put a spotlight on community connection and shared meals.

“Art, in its most profound sense, has always been a powerful tool for social change,” said Jane Golden, executive director of Mural Arts Philadelphia. “It bridges gaps, fosters understanding and stimulates conversation. Murals like the one Calo Rosa designed are visual narratives that can illuminate pressing issues. Through this mural and our partnership with Philabundance, we can highlight food insecurity, humanize the statistics and create a palpable sense of empathy in viewers, causing more to be engaged in tackling the serious issue of hunger in the Greater Philadelphia region.”

Mural Arts Philadelphia, created more than 35 years ago, is the nation’s largest public art program, dedicated to the belief that art ignites change. Through a collaborative and equitable process, Mural Arts has created more than 4,000 pieces of artwork throughout Philadelphia, which is known as the Mural Capital of the World.

It strives to tell inspiring stories and highlight subjects like education, restorative justice, mental health and wellness and public arts preservation. In this case, it brings attention to hunger in the Philadelphia region. Philabundance feeds 135,000 people each week as the region’s largest food bank in the Greater Philadelphia region.

“We are thrilled to dedicate this beautiful mural that represents the spirit of unity, compassion and hope that defines our mission at Philabundance,” said Loree Jones Brown, CEO of Philabundance. “This mural is both a work of art and a symbol of our commitment to fighting hunger and nourishing the communities we serve.”

The mural was selected after a Request for Qualifications and an immersion experience for finalists. The winning design by Rosa was chosen via a popular vote by Philabundance staff, PCK students, board members and community partners.

The design is a vibrant homage to movement, featuring food flowing through the Philabundance warehouses, volunteers actively engaged and the journeys of the people served. It depicts the community coming together to savor a meal, encapsulating the unifying power of food.

Following the selection, Philabundance and Mural Arts hosted paint days throughout the summer to bring this project to life. Volunteers contributed to the mural by painting cloth sections that will later be installed on the wall. 

The captivating and colorful mural will be officially dedicated on Sept. 6 from 10 am to noon at Philabundance’s Hunger Relief Center, 3616 S. Galloway St., featuring guests from Mural Arts, Philabundance, the Philabundance Board and media representatives. It will include speeches, a ribbon-cutting ceremony and refreshments. The dedication will also highlight the nationally recognized Hunger Action Month, observed throughout September.

“We extend our deepest gratitude to the talented artist Calo Rosa, volunteers and supporters whose contributions have made this mural possible,” Jones Brown said. “With every brushstroke, we are painting a brighter future, where no one goes to bed hungry. This mural stands as a testament to the power of collaboration and the belief that everyone deserves access to nutritious food. We hope it inspires others to join us in our mission to create hunger-free communities today while working to end hunger for good.”