Three representatives from the Coalition Against Hunger on July 25 told members of the Rhawnhurst Naturally Occurring Retirement Community about ways needy people can obtain food assistance.
And, they said, there is a need.
For instance, Philabundance operates a year-round program called Fresh for All. Free produce is distributed every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at Houseman Recreation Center, Summerdale and Godfrey avenues.
“People line up a few hours in advance,” said Noelle Dames, the Coalition Against Hunger’s outreach coordinator for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
SNAP, once known as food stamps, is a federal program that provides assistance to low-income individuals.
Dames, whose agency is based at 1725 Fairmount Ave., was joined by fellow outreach coordinators Alesha Higgins and Rachel Aistrop.
They encouraged senior citizens to contact organizations that can help them receive discounted food.
Local options include Aid For Friends (215-464-2224), the Oxford Village Food Cupboard (215-684-2489), Living Waters United Church of Christ (267-388-6081), Feast of Justice (215-268-3510), Northeast Family Social Services (215-624-5920), Mitzvah Food Project (215-832-0509) and the Klein JCC (215-698-7300, Ext. 197).
There are four local farmers’ markets. They are located at the Frankford Transportation Center (Tuesdays from 2 to 6 p.m., July to October); 900 E. Howell St. in Oxford Circle (Thursdays from 2 to 6 p.m., June to October); 3024 Byberry Road (Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., June to October); and Frankford and Ryan avenues in Mayfair (every other Sunday starting on Aug. 11 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.).
Much of the information discussed at the meeting was contained in brochures handed out during a recent door-to-door canvass of homes near Tarken Playground in Oxford Circle.
Each person at last week’s meeting received Philly Food Bucks in the form of three $2 coupons for fruits and vegetables at those markets.
“They offer excellent ways to stretch your budget,” Dames said.
Dames welcomes calls to her office at 215-430-0556 to determine eligibility for SNAP.
“It’s really on a case-by-case basis,” she said. “We’re trying to make the process simpler, but we can’t bend the rules. We don’t endorse food stamp fraud.”
Dames, Higgins and Aistrop awarded T-shirts, an inflatable lunch bag and other prizes to people who answered questions correctly. A woman won a neck pillow for guessing that two-thirds of senior citizens eligible for food stamps have not applied to receive them. Another person won garden gloves for saying that Philly Food Bucks are available at farmers’ markets.
For more information, visit www.hungercoalition.org
In other news from the July 25 meeting:
• The Take Back Your Neighborhood Civic Association will hold a community celebration on Saturday, Aug. 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Max Myers Playground, at 1601 Hellerman St. The day will include food, music and exhibits by community groups. Call 215-205-2167.
• Ner Zedek Synagogue, at 7520 Bustleton Ave., will host a performance of Broadway Sings on Monday, Sept. 2, at 1:30 p.m. The show will feature Broadway stars in concert. Tickets cost $36. Call Jack Belitsky at 215-725-2912.
• The Philadelphia Protestant Home, at 6500 Tabor Ave., will host a flea market and clothing sale on Tuesday, Sept. 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Items on sale will include furniture, jewelry, knickknacks, books, puzzles and games. The sale will take place in PPH’s social hall. Call 215-697-8000.
• The Rhawnhurst NORC will meet again on Thursday, Aug. 22, at noon at Ner Zedek Synagogue. The guest speakers will be financial advisers Wade Hartz and Patrick Farrell, who’ll speak on Leaving Your Legacy.
The meeting after that is set for Wednesday, Sept. 25, at noon at Rhawnhurst Presbyterian Church, at 7701 Loretto Ave. Guest speaker Sonia DeVan will address Affordable Care Act — What Does It Mean For Seniors?
Each event costs $5 and includes a box lunch, beverage, side salad and dessert. To RSVP, call 215-320-0351. ••