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Food4Philly Newsletter - Summer Recap 2023

Read about our news and latest updates.


Hello Food4Philly community!

For those of you who are new to the Food

4Philly community… welcome! In this newsletter, we will outline our most recent updates, achievements, and growth. We appreciate your support and interest!


About Us

Every year, 119 billion pounds of food in the United States of America goes to waste. That’s between 30-40 percent of the food supply in this country. In other words, that's 130 billion meals and more than $408 billion in wasted food every single year.

At the same time, we have seen devastating food shortages all over the world, especially in our local communities. These shortages and supply chain issues which caused a great deal of suffering were only heightened by the COVID-19 Pandemic, but surprisingly, there is a silver lining.

The pandemic, with all the chaos and pain it caused, also brought much-needed attention to the people in our community who were in need of assistance. Food insecurity is one of the principal causes of hardship around the world, and more people than ever before are being affected. In response to this, organizations of all kinds rose up to the challenge to help people in need.

Food4Philly is a student-run non profit organization based in the greater Philadelphia area, working to alleviate food insecurity while promoting collaboration and inclusivity. Food4Philly works both in traditional food drives and fundraising events, as well as coordinates with restaurants, big and small, in our area to ensure that any food they may potentially waste is instead distributed to those most in need.

Food4Philly was founded by a small group and high schoolers who recruited fellow classmates to help the cause. In being student-run, Food4Philly encourages students and younger people to rise to higher levels of civic responsibility, helping to make a difference in the lives of others.

Food4Philly began as a method of alleviating food insecurity in the greater Philadelphia community. We as an organization have learned and grown, and as we have, new opportunities, connections, and partners have opened up. We have spread throughout the nation, and uncovered just how many people, even globally, could use our help. Our food should not just be for Philly, but instead, for All.


Our Achievements

Featured in Philadelphia Inquirer and Delco Today

We are thrilled to have been featured in both the Philadelphia Inquirer and Delco Today this past month. These features not only raise awareness about Food4Philly's mission to fight hunger in Philadelphia, but also acknowledge the incredible work being done by our team. These articles highlight exactly the type of work Food4Philly does and the people it reaches, as well showcases what can be achieved with hard work and dedication.

A link to the articles can be found here:

Volunteered with Sharing Excess on Juneteenth Event

Last week, we had an incredible opportunity to volunteer for the Sharing Excess nonprofit at a Juneteenth event. Not only was it inspiring to work together to distribute food to those in need, but we were also able to meet new people and foster new relationships.

Sharing Excess is a fantastic nonprofit that works to reduce food waste and provide food for those in need. We are so excited to have had the chance to partner with them and look forward to working with them again in the future.

Potential New Chapters

We are currently in the process of exploring the creation of new chapters of Food4Philly outside of Philadelphia. We have identified a few areas in the region where we can make a significant impact and help feed more people, and are excited to pursue this new direction.

Co-Founders Graduating

As with every student-run organization, the time comes when team members graduate and move on from their roles. We are sad to see our co-founders graduating but we are forever grateful for their contributions to Food4Philly. They have left an unforgettable mark on our organization, and we promise to maintain their legacy for years to come.

New Team Members

Finally, we are thrilled to announce that we have new team members joining Food4Philly. These new members bring with them new ideas, energy, and enthusiasm which we are very excited to have on board. We look forward to building and growing with them as a team, working together to achieve more and bring our mission to life.

Currently, these new members consist of 2 young men from The Haverford School, Milan Varma and Reilly Pryma. These aspiring leaders have been selected by the Food4Philly team to work as executives for the organization, and have shown commitment to civic engagement in all they do. Check out their biographies on our website to learn more.

New Chapters

Food4Philly has been constantly expanding to new schools and even new cities ever since its founding at the Haverford School and Penncrest High School. This past month, this expansion has continued, with some new chapters coming to Food4Philly. Firstly, Serving Chester County and Great Valley Community Club has joined up with Food4Philly. This organization had been previously doing some amazing outreach work to the West of Food4Philly’s main area of operations, primarily in Chester County. In our desire to expand our network, we got into contact with this organization, and they are now an official chapter of Food4Philly!

Much closer to some of our founding schools is Harriton High School, another new Food4Philly chapter. Students Liam Reich and Rory Dasher will be taking the helm for what we hope will be a new and productive arm of our network in and around the Main Line.

As chapters get revitalized with budding leaders going into this school year, Food4Philly is sure to gain even more chapters, volunteers, and support, to make an even greater difference.

New Partnerships

However, we have not just been expanding our network of direct chapters, but have also done a sizable amount of outreach to similar organizations and have begun entering into productive partnerships with many of them.

We have been working towards partnerships with amazing organizations possessing a wide variety in their methods, means, and location: the Lansdowne YMCA, providing not just material aid but also recreation and activities to the less fortunate; the Bethesda Project, focusing on alleviating the problem of homeless and the suffering it entails; the Means Database, an extensive virtual platform for donating food across a sizeable area; the New Day Drop-In Center, which provides a safe and accessible environment for women exploited by the commercial sex industry, run by Salvation Army, as well as the larger New Day to Stop Trafficking organization, dedicated to ending human trafficking while providing aid and support to its victims and survivors; Eldernet of Lower Merion and Narberth, which provides a variety of necessary supplies, ranging from food to medical to household supplies, to the less secure in society, especially the elderly and the disabled; and finally, the Northwest Mutual Aid Collective, a grassroots organization which serves to alleviate food insecurity among a wide range of vulnerable people in Philadelphia’s Northwest section. Food4Philly looks forward to cherishing all of these partnerships!

Expansion/Times Square Ad

However, Food4Philly does not just serve Philadelphia; we run branches outside of the area, ranging from Boston to California. On top of this, we may expand even more in the near future! We have also been working on establishing further branches in California, ranging from Palo Alto to Los Angeles. More immediately, we are finalizing the stages for Food4NYC. In addition, as we’ve been finishing up the preparations, our organization has even been featured in Times Square! Finally, we are making connections across the Atlantic Ocean all the way in London - Food4Philly doesn’t just give aid to Philly, we help all!


Additionally, we have continued our relationship with Wawa into another year, with Food4Philly once more being chosen for a $1000 grant from the Wawa Foundation, which aims to strengthen the community by donating millions of dollars every year to various charitable organizations. We are incredibly grateful to the organization and hope to continue our relationship even further. If you yourself wish to support Food4Philly, you can direct your donations through either PayPal Giving Fund or Venmo @food4philly. As always, we greatly appreciate your support of our mission.

Free food event at the Azalea Garden in East Fairmount Park

And finally, to cap off the month, we were able to hold a large free food event at the Azalea Garden in East Fairmount Park in West Philly! On July 30th, a team of Food4Philly members, joined by a number of new volunteers, set up tables and tents in the Azalea Garden. Having transported roughly one ton of fresh produce, we, over the course of three to four hours, distributed food ranging from grapes to clementines to cookie dough to plant milk to hundreds of people in the West Philadelphia area. It was a fun and productive afternoon for all involved, and we would like to thank both the volunteers who showed up to help and our generous partners, Sharing Excess, for providing the supplies that we needed to make this whole event happen.

Our brand new podcast episode is out!

Here at Food4Philly, we are always looking for ways to grow and improve so that we can carry out our mission of alleviating food insecurity more efficiently.  

One way we have sought do to this is by raising awareness and updating our community on our daily happenings through a Podcast channel! The 4Philly podcast has an exciting new lineup of guests coming in the future... so be sure to stay tuned! In addition, as the school year approaches, our team looks to take full advantage of the month of August for holding events and more, which we will advertise on our social media.

Recently, Co-Founder and Executive Director Ethan Chan and Malachi Roth-Cohen, an integral Member of our DEI Team, interviewed Evan Ehlers, a Founder at Sharing Excess, one of our closest partners. Many interesting topics and subjects were discussed, and we highly recommend our community to check it out!


Keep an eye out for some of our upcoming whereabouts!

As the holidays approach, Food4Philly will be preparing for drives and donations on a widespread chapter scale. The holidays embody the spirit of giving, and Food4Philly makes it our mission to help people in need to improve their holidays where possible. It is important to remember that any impact, however seemingly small it may be, makes a difference.


Note from Co-Founders

Dear Food4Philly community,

As co-founders of Food4Philly, it is with mixed emotions that we announce our transition from our roles in the Executive Team to embrace new challenges and opportunities as we begin college. It has been an incredible journey serving this remarkable organization, and we are excited to pass the torch of leadership to our dedicated successors, Milan and Reilly.

When we founded Food4Philly several years ago, our mission was clear: to combat food insecurity and hunger in our beloved city of Philadelphia. Little did we know the profound impact this organization would have and the incredible community it would build (in cities far beyond just Philadelphia) —and we are immensely proud of what we've accomplished together.

Over the years, we've witnessed Food4Philly grow from a small grassroots initiative to a thriving nonprofit that has made a meaningful impact in the lives of countless individuals and families. We've seen the power of collective action, the generosity of our volunteers, and the unwavering support of our donors and partners. It's been nothing short of inspiring.

Through countless food drives, community events, partnerships, and innovative programs, we've been able to provide nourishment, hope, and dignity to those in need. Together, we've transformed the lives of many, including that of both our members and those who we serve.

As we step aside from our leadership roles, we have full confidence that Food4Philly will continue to flourish and expand under the guidance of Milan and Reilly. Their dedication, passion, and vision for the organization are inspiring, and we are excited to watch as they lead Food4Philly into an even brighter future.

We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you who have supported Food4Philly in countless ways. Whether you've volunteered your time, donated funds, or simply spread the word about our mission, you've played an invaluable role in our success.

While our roles may change, our commitment to the mission of Food4Philly remains unwavering. We will continue to be active members of this incredible community by serving in advisory roles, using our knowledge, expertise, and resources to continue to guide Milan and Reilly in any way we can.

Thank you for being part of this journey with us. Food4Philly will forever hold a special place in our hearts, and we can't wait to see the amazing heights it will reach in the future.

With gratitude and warm regards,

Ethan and Zaid

Food4Philly Co-Founders


Ways to Stay Involved

Here at Food4Philly, we are working hard to raise funds and find partners to give us the necessary recourses and platforms to help as many people as possible. At the same time, donations and contributions from our community are always greatly appreciated as they help us in our mission.

The links below can take you to our donation pages like Venmo, PayPal, and GoFundMe. Thank you for all your kind support!




We would like to remind you that there are many ways you can stay involved with Food4Philly. Please visit our website to learn more about our mission, team members, and accomplishments. Finally, if you're interested in volunteering with us or have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out. We would love to hear from you!

Thank you so much for your sustained support of Food4Philly. We are excited to continue making positive changes in our community with your help.

Best regards,

The Food4Philly Team

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