Thousands of families turn to the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger for assistance with their food and nutritional needs. Services provided by the non-profit include information on pantries, food banks, charities, and soup kitchens across the city and county. However, specialists from the agency can also help people apply for, and obtain, government benefits, including SNAP food stamps, but others may be applied to as well. The coalition operates across Bucks, Chester and Philadelphia Counties.
While enrolling into the federal funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will not solve all challenges, it is one more resource for low income families or people facing poverty in Philadelphia. It also frees up their income for paying other monthly bills they have.
As part of the program, the client will be issued an EBT card which they can use to pay for their groceries at a local supermarket or retailer. About 12% of the population currently receives help from food stamps, and many more are qualified but just have not submitted applications. It is estimated that tens of thousands of residents from the Philadelphia region could enroll if they just completed an application.
The Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger provides information on this service, and can also help people complete applications and apply. They have established a hotline for residents, and that number is 215-430-0556.
Also, the non-profit will help people who drop in at one of their partner sites. Volunteers are staff are located at CareerLink centers, local pantries, health centers in Philadelphia, and other locations in the city. If more convenient, stop by a site to apply for SNAP.
If someone has applied and was denied, the coalition will assist with an appeal process. They partner with the Philadelphia's County Assistance Offices to ensure that low income families get the benefits they are entitled too, and may even involve pro-bono law firms if and when needed. Hundreds of people work with the coalition on appealing their benefits that were denied.
They can also offer some general guidance on other public aid that may be available to a family. Households with students can enroll into free school lunches, or the elderly can receive boxes of food and groceries from the CSFP program, so there are many other options.
The Coalition Against Hunger has information on the hundreds of soup kitchens and food pantries that are in the city and county, even those locations in nearby locations such as Bucks or Chester. They are also involved in raising funds and providing operational assistance to these locations, as the goal is to help anyone that needs it and to not turn anyone away. To meet this goal, they operate programs such as Victory in Partnership, or VIP, and others.
The coalition can provide referrals to these pantries, including the hours, phone numbers and directions. They can also give some general information on what type of food items to expect, such as canned goods or more uncommon items such as baby formula. Some have income requirements, and information is available on those locations as well. This will make the clients visit as effective as possible.
Also, there is also seasonal support from the locations. For example, some of the churches or pantries that partner with the Coalition Against Hunger may provide free Thanksgiving or Christmas meals. There are even locations that will deliver a meal or bag of groceries to a senior citizen in Philadelphia.
For more information on the Coalition Against Hunger, the main office is at 1725 Fairmount Ave. Unit 102, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130. The hotline for SNAP applications and guidance on applying is 215-430-0556.
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