JFGP Mitzvah Food Project
The Mitzvah Food Project 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 area hunger relief agencies, the Mitzvah Food Project, 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. Currently, the Mitzvah Food Project's hunger relief program serves seniors and families through six sites located in Center City, Northeast Philadelphia, Wynnewood, Newtown, Bensalem and Elkins Park. The Northeast Philadelphia site is located in a senior center.
Today, all of the six pantry sites are run with the same basic principles. The mission of the Mitzvah Food Project is to provide food and basic staples in a caring and dignified manner to those in our community who are in need and to educate and advocate on their behalf. The client base ranges from infants to the elderly. All pantry locations welcome all who are in need, regardless of race, religion, income, gender, or age.
The Food Project mobilizes a workforce comprised primarily of volunteers. The Food Project benefits from the dedicated support of an Advisory Committee of active community members, local nutritionists, and volunteers and site leaders from each food distribution site. The Project works with local and state hunger relief organizations, synagogues and community organizations to acquire low-cost food staples for their Mitzvah Food Packages. In addition, the Project partners with volunteer groups throughout the region to organize food drives that supplement their nutritionally-balanced food packages with non-perishable foods, fresh baked goods, vitamins, and toiletries.