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SEPTA Customers and Employees Help Hunger Take a Vacation

Heather Redfern
SEPTA Press Officer

Thanks to the generosity of SEPTA's customers and employees who donated 19 tons of food during the fourth annual "Stop Hunger at Your Station" food drive, Philabundance's shelves are stocked and ready to help families in need across the Delaware Valley.

"There has been unbelievable support for our food drive since it began in 2009," said SEPTA General Manager Joseph Casey. "The public knows the important role Philabundance plays in helping to feed the hungry in the Delaware Valley. Year after year our customers and employees have stepped up and made contributions to this worthwhile - and very necessary - cause."

For thousands of families across the SEPTA service region, the burden of putting food on their tables is even greater when the weather heats up. Many children stop receiving the free and reduced-cost meals they get during the school year, leaving their parents struggling to find ways to provide those extra meals. The 19 tons of food donated by SEPTA customers and employees - up from 17.8 tons in 2011 - will provide more than 37,900 meals.

During the three-week food drive, customers dropped off much-needed items such as canned tuna and pasta, peanut butter and jelly at 45 SEPTA locations. Monetary gifts also counted toward SEPTA's collection total. Donations will support Philabundance's Summer Meals campaign for kids. Of the population Philabundance serves, approximately 23 percent are children.

In addition to customer contributions, SEPTA's employees also rallied to support the cause. Staff members from SEPTA's depots, districts and Center City headquarters participated in the food drive. Frontier District collected more than $1,700 to purchase items for the food drive.

"SEPTA is committed to community service and the 'Stop Hunger at Your Station' drive is one of our largest efforts," said Casey. "We know that some of those who rely on Philabundance and its agencies are SEPTA's customers. Giving back to the neighbors we serve is an important part of our organization's mission."

Since 2009, SEPTA passengers and employees have donated more than 65 tons of food to Philabundance.

Students from Nazareth Academy Grade School gave the food drive a rousing start with a rally on May 30.

SEPTA GM Joe Casey and Philabundance COO Melanie Jumonville (third and fourth from center) and SEPTA and Philabundance employees and volunteers kicked off the 2012 food drive.

Bus Supervisor Michelle Norman and Operator Wesley Gregg Jr.visited SEPTA stations and transportation centers across the region in the Philabundance-wrapped bus, collecting customers' donations.

SEPTA employees, including those from the Frankford District shown here with GM Joe Casey (far left) and Chief Surface Transportation Officer Mike Liberi (third from right), generously supported the 2012 "Stop Hunger at Your Station" drive.

Philabundance driver Steve picked up the many tons of donated food from SEPTA's Center City Headquarters.