SHARE FOOD PROGRAM
Share first opened in 1986, part of a national network of Shares dedicated to expanding community access to wholesome, affordable food. Since that time, Share has evolved into a vibrant, high-impact organization, recognized for our strong leadership role in reducing regional hunger and expanding access to nutritious, affordable food.
In the early days, Philadelphia Share was primarily a community food coop, offering below-retail packages of food in exchange for two hours of volunteerism and a modest payment. As food poverty affected more families in our region, Share stepped forward. Share became an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 1991, with the mission to “serve a regional network of community organizations engaged in food distribution, education and advocacy.” That year, Share became the lead agency in Philadelphia County for the State Food Purchase Program and The Emergency Food Assistance Program.
Last year, Share brought 27 million pounds of emergency food relief to low-income Philadelphia residents facing hunger. Each day, Share manages complex food distribution operations, to bring a steady, reliable stream of food relief to more than 505 volunteer-led food cupboards. The need has escalated, as illustrated by the graph below. Without Share, local food cupboards cannot meet the growing need.