Freedom From Hunger fights food insecurity throughout April

Freedom From Hunger

The Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board’s (VFTCB) Freedom from Hunger Drive and the MontCo Anti-Hunger Network (MAHN) are commemorating 10 years in service, and to celebrate, the VFTCB is continuing its 2nd Freedom from Hunger Spring Drive in April. 

The virtual fundraiser (held online) is aiming to reach $10,000 for the entire year, with this Spring Drive targeting $2,500 (the equivalent of 30,000 pounds of food.) As a release notes, in Montco specifically, food pantries surveyed by MAHN between 2022 and 2023, saw a 60.7% increase in the number of individuals served on average at each pantry.

“Food insecurity is skyrocketing,” said MAHN’s Executive Director, Shannon Isaacs in a statement. “Close to 20% of households with children are food insecure in the United States. This is about more than just food, it is about health and education. Nutrition is critical to functioning.” 

Freedom From Hunger

Isaacs continued: “When kids are hungry, they can’t learn at school. We’re concerned about people’s health and the well-being of our neighbors. We need to act on this crisis. This drive makes a tremendous difference, supporting the food safety net across the county. Together, we are better able to create social impact than we are alone.” 

Freedom From Hunger will continue its run from March throughout April to build the awareness around food insecurity in certain locations that is needed. There will be another drive from the VFTCB in the fall as well that Philadelphians can look out for.  

Both organizations (VFTCB and MAHN) decided to partner up to achieve their collective goal—working together to keep families stable with food assistance. MAHN itself provides resources to almost 70 free meal providers that feed those who are food insecure in Montco. 

What some may not know is that food donations to the food safety net system, traditionally, are low in the springtime. As a release also notes, nationally, 1.8 million more homes became severely food insecure in 2022 in comparison to the previous year, according to the most recent federal food insecurity data from the USDA. 

“We are seeing a tremendous uptick in visitation of food pantries and demand for emergency food in both the county, and nationally,” Isaacs continued. “An overwhelming majority of food pantries on the Main Line reported not having enough food, a dramatic change from previous years. The shortage is reflected in food pantries across the county.” 

The best way to make a difference for this cause is by donating money (monetary donations provide the greatest flexibility for organizations to help those they serve) because MAHN can purchase food wholesale, saving the network anywhere from $1 to $3 per pound.

“As leaders, we can’t keep letting this happen,” added Mike Bowman, President & CEO of the VFTCB in a statement. “We need local businesses, and individuals, to step up to fight hunger with us.”

Freedom From Hunger

Over the past decade, the VFTCB has collected more than 270,000 pounds of food to feed the hungry in Montco. The Food Drive, ultimately was created as a farewell “gift” to Pope Francis in 2015 when the Pontiff stayed in Montgomery County at the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary during the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. 

What is now known as the MontCo Anti-Hunger Network was founded in 2014 to help food pantries share food with each other, and strengthen the food safety net in Montgomery County, the release notes. 

Philadelphians can learn more about the Freedom from Hunger Food Drive by visiting and MAHN’s food pantries and soup kitchens at