Philabundance comes to Rowan

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Rowan students and Glassboro residents braved the bitter cold Friday, as Philabundance began its first official day to provide fresh produce for those in need.

The event was met with a lot of people, music and volunteers. Many were Rowan students and Philabundance employees, who began to lend a helping hand by delivering fresh food for Glassboro families and Rowan students alike.

Founded in 1984, Philabundance was the brainchild of Pamela Rainey Lawler. She began the non-profit organization to combat hunger in the community as she noticed perfectly good food going to waste. 30-plus years later, the food bank is now the largest nonprofit organization of its kind in the Philadelphia and Delaware Valley regions.

Not all individuals must have involved families to participate in the food bank. Due to rising tuition and regulations around SNAP benefits, many college campuses are seeing a rise in student poverty. As a result, Philabundance has partnered up with Feeding America food banks to ensure the student population has enough food while participating in their education.

Now, every Friday at 10 a.m., Glassboro residents and Rowan students will get the chance to obtain fresh produce for either their families or dorms.

“It’s a great opportunity for students,” said Andrew Perrone, an associate and volunteer at the Office of Volunteerism at Rowan. “Many students who live on campus with kitchens in their homes, get an opportunity to get fresh produce for themselves, if they can’t afford a big grocery shopping day.”

Jose Vargas, an employee of Philabundance, was pleased by how many people the organization was able to help.

“When we had the events at the VFW in Glassboro, we weren’t able to reach as many people as we wanted to,” Vargas said. “Now with Rowan hosting it, it’s become a better opportunity to help not only Rowan students, but Glassboro residents as well.”

Along with the Philabundance employees, Rowan students volunteered in distributing food and to-go bags for their college and Glassboro neighbors.

“It’s a great way to give back to the community,” said SGA President Rbery Singleton. “I am so glad that Rowan is hosting Philabundance. It’s a great opportunity to not only help our fellow students, but our Glassboro neighbors as well.”

As of 2016, Philabundance has worked with local farmers and grocers to rescue close to 10 million pounds of food for its neighbors in need.

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