Fresh produce fuels Philadelphia food relief agency

09/16/2010 06:37:06 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

Clark said waiting until the end of the recession would have been too late.

Many poor people had to eat a lot of potatoes for a few weeks until distributors and importers resumed their normal produce contributions.

Mark Levin, co-owner of M. Levin & Co Inc., said Philabundance provides a worthy service.

“They do a great job distributing fruits and vegetables and other food to the homeless and needy,” he said. “I’m surprised there aren’t more organizations like that, but Philabundance fills a niche in our area.”

Though no one likes to give away product, Levin said Philabundance people immediately visit his operation when the distributor has product he can’t sell.

Levin, whose headquarters building is across the street from Philabundance’s operations, said he often sees up to 40 vans and medium-sized trucks waiting to get into Philabundance so they can distribute food to hungry people.

“Their efforts should be commended,” Levin said.

Many distributors regularly contribute.

“We give produce we can’t sell here to them every week,” said Todd Penza, salesman for Pinto Bros. Inc. “They are selective in what they take and don’t take trash. They have to be able to use it. They are an important organization. People who can’t afford fresh produce need a source for it.”

Philabundance distributes goods to food banks throughout the East Coast, including New York and its Long Island and Staten Island boroughs, Pittsburgh, Virginia and South Carolina.


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