Share Food Program has announced a $450,000 donation through the Essential Foundation, the charitable giving arm of Aqua Pennsylvania, an Essential Utilities Company. The check was presented during an Aqua employee volunteer day and launched a new multi-year partnership to provide hunger relief for Delaware County residents served by both organizations.
As Lead Sponsor, Aqua’s donation will support the completion of Share’s new 9,000-square-foot warehouse in Ridley Township and support ongoing operations to increase access to life-saving resources for residents.
“With food prices rising, we are seeing record numbers of people lining up outside our partner food pantries. Delaware County residents should not have to choose between paying their bills and buying food for their families,” said Share Food Program’s Delaware County Program Director Ellie Crowell. “We are so grateful to the Essential Foundation and Aqua for this critical funding and support of our efforts to help ensure our neighbors have greater access to nourishing and dignified food options and resources.”
Share—the largest hunger-relief organization in the region— last year became Delaware County’s lead agency for state and federal food distribution. As part of its operations, the organization leverages partnerships with local schools and pantries to carry out its mission of eradicating food insecurity by improving food distribution, education and advocacy.
The donation was presented by Essential Utilities Chairman and CEO Chris Franklin and Aqua Pennsylvania President Marc Lucca during a volunteer event at Share’s headquarters which brought together 30 employees to help package over 700 boxes of food, which are distributed to low-income senior citizens through the organization’s Senior Food Box Program.
“The Essential Foundation is thrilled to be the Delaware County Lead Sponsor for Share Food Program, this is such an important community resource that closely aligns with our mission of providing essential resources for life,” said Franklin. “It’s particularly significant because we are supporting the county where we were founded, where we’ve grown and where so many of our employees live and work. It’s a special moment for us to be able to provide such a large donation to help our neighbors in need.”
Aqua will also provide volunteer hours as well as technical expertise through participation on an advisory committee to support Share’s work in Delaware County. Additionally, Aqua employees will have an opportunity to learn more about food insecurity and the impact they are making.
“I am so impressed by the work Share employees, volunteers and donors do to help those facing food insecurity in the communities we serve,” said Lucca. “I am proud to sponsor this organization.”
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