Philly Food Pantry Offers Healthy Food For Those In Need

Philly Food Pantry Offers Healthy Food For Those In Need

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PHILADELPHIA -

Times are tough for many in Philadelphia with almost half a million people turning to food pantries just to survive.

And people don't often get many healthy food choices when they have little or no money for groceries.

But several organizations are working to change all that.

The Green Light Pantry in Philadelphia's Olde Kensington section has nothing but healthy options for people in need to choose from.

Officials there say it's a cutting edge way of fighting hunger.

Brittney Muray's two year old son plays in their room at the Drueding Center Transitional Housing Complex for homeless women and children.

A peaceful moment in the middle of hardship as Brittney tries to provide for herself and her child.

"The challenges I face is making sure my son gets everything he needs from diapers to clothes. I'm also trying to find employment and that's really hard."

She says things got a little better with the opening of the Green Light Food Pantry across the street, a community effort to give shelter members and others food, and healthy selections at that.

"I really don't have to spend as much as I normally do, thanks to the pantry, so that's a good thing."

There are nutritious fruits and vegetables, canned goods, whole grains and many other options.

She says it's a big improvement in what have been tough times.

"It was difficult. I had to figure out what I could substitute, for me and my child."

The pantry was formally dedicated Tuesday afternoon with partners like the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger working with businesses to change the way the city fights hunger with so many people in need.

According to Ann Marie Collins, the Executive Director, "Even if they were able to go to the store, they can't buy enough healthy, nutritious food. What we found with our moms and our kids is if we provide them they will choose the healthy option."

Many needs being met at the same time.

And something that makes Brittney feel good about the future.

"Once I leave here, I still would like to be part of the Drueding Center, by then I should have employment, stable housing, making sure me and my child have everything we need."

Families that are clients of the Green Light Pantry have to attend nutrition classes every month.

They can also receive free health screenings and other financial assistance.

This is one of two pilot programs in the city.

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