calendar April 13, 2020 in Faith in action, Public Health

Feast of Justice is Food ‘Supersite’

As the need for emergency food grows in Philadelphia and food sites dwindle, Feast of Justice in Northeast Philadelphia decided not to close and instead expanded its services to food-insecure people in the city. They are prepared to serve from 600-700 households per week, up from 285 households a week before COVID-19.

Here is an update from the Rev Tricia Neale, executive director of Feast of Justice.

As an emergency food provider, we decided not to close, but instead to take on as much as we could. That decision was done with a sense of trust and responsibility and, from then, our work has simply continued to grow.

We decided to partner with the city to become one of the “supersites” distributing food to households without ID or pre-registration. We were thankful to see that we would be able to offer 400 boxes twice a week, but saddened to learn that these were simply 12lb of dry goods.

Recognizing that this was not going to be sufficient food for families (families could come as often as they wanted, but it was a small box–and therefore not supporting the stay-at-home recommendations), we worked to increase our Feast of Justice distribution program. We transformed our model so it is very low contact and high volume. We now give approximately 20lb of dry goods, along with 30 lb of meat, dairy, produce, and grab-and-go foods. We have increased our capacity to 150-175 households each time we are open and will be opening a 3rd FoJ day next week along with implementing a delivery model for those who are unable to come. Our plan is that we can serve 600-700 households a week in the Feast of Justice programs, and will still have the capacity to serve 400 twice a week at the city’s supersite programs. As a note, pre-COVID, we were serving 285 a week.

To say we are exhausted and overwhelmed is a gross understatement.

But, we see God at work every single day. Our volunteers and paid staff are amazing. The generosity of individuals and groups is humbling. We are fed and nourished in our spirit by the work that we are able to do daily. God’s got this–and is using the gifts in all of us to make us trust that with our whole beings.

Read about Feast of Justice in the Inquirer