Partnering to Provide Produce and Perishable Foods

Partnering to Provide Produce and Perishable Foods

Partnership Feature: Einstein Healthcare Network and Philabundance 

In March 2018, Einstein Healthcare Network and Philabundance came together to address rising food insecurity rates in Northern Philadelphia. Philabundance is Philadelphia’s largest hunger relief organization and a member of Feeding America. Einstein is a private, non-profit health system whose flagship hospital, Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, is located in north Philadelphia. Together, Einstein and Philabundance created a produce and perishable food distribution program to help make nutritious food accessible to all, especially to some of Philadelphia’s more vulnerable populations1

(Image courtesy of Einstein Health Network, Jeff Meade)

This food distribution program is a pop-up food market where community members who arrive at designated pick-up locations once a week can receive up to 25 pounds of free, fresh produce, such as fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses2. There are no income restrictions, no identification is required, and participation does not affect any other food-related benefits. The program serves the community around Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, and people do not need to be patients at Einstein to receive food from the pop-up market. Since its launch, the program has distributed over 250,000 pounds of free food to over 13,000 families3

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic briefly halted the program during the summer months of 2020. However, in September 2020, the program was able to resume. All the produce is now pre-packaged and placed on tables for individuals to “grab and go” in efforts to maintain social distancing guidelines. Each package still contains between 10 to 20 pounds of identical produce each week3

Food distribution is now offered every Tuesday morning starting at 10 a.m. at a new location: 5500 block North 11th Street, between Tabor Road and Clarkson Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19141, on the Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia campus. The pop-up produce market is offered every week, year-round, rain or shine, except in extreme weather3.

(Photo caption: COACH participants volunteer at the free produce market in 2019.)