Each year, we recognize National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week (November 12-20) just before Thanksgiving. The timing is intentional. As many are safely reunited with family, we can also take the time to reach out to those who don’t have a safe place to call home or to know when they will enjoy their next meal.
Philadelphia’s homeless service system has made significant progress. We’ve reduced street homelessness by investing in evidence-based supportive housing, added day services and expanded homelessness prevention. We provide 24-hour outreach, and lower barriers to entry into the homeless and treatment systems. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development recently awarded Philadelphia nearly $9 million to help end youth homelessness.
Although we have achievements to celebrate, too many people remain without housing or food. In Philadelphia, about 21 percent of our residents go to bed hungry or food insecure.
While we know what works and can effectively end homelessness in Philadelphia, our resources are limited. This is why awareness weeks, days of advocacy and calls to action are so important. They give voice to hope, urgency and possibility to make homelessness rare, brief and recurrent.
What you can do
Here are four ways to raise awareness and help those affected by hunger and homelessness.
- Attend one or all of the Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week events listed below and learn about the resources and services available in Philadelphia.
- Join the national social media conversation. Retweet posts from the organizations or events listed below. Create your own social media posts and use the hashtags #HHWEEK and #ShareYourTable.
- Share this blog post on your Twitter and Facebook profiles.
- Volunteer and give. Hunger and homelessness service organizations can do more when they have more resources. Resources equal people power and money.
2022 Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week
San Juan Hospice, Sunday Thanksgiving Dinner
November 20 (12:00-13:00)
1221 Race St.
Members of the Philadelphia Knights of Columbus will once again serve a traditional Thanksgiving meal to hundreds of homeless men in Center City on November 20th. For more information about St. John’s Hospice, and how to get involved, go to: https://saintjohnshospice. org/
Compassion Food Truck
November 22 (13:00)
F Street and Kensington Ave.
Church of Christian Compassion and Keystone First are once again partnering to prepare, pack and serve Thanksgiving dinners for the homeless. Volunteers will also serve a Thanksgiving meal from the Compassion Food Truck at McPherson Square Park.
November 24 (8:00-12:00)
5736 Chester Ave.
Pack or deliver hot meals to Philly families. For several years Operation Turkey has prepared and delivered thousands of hot meals on Thanksgiving morning. This year, the goal is 55,000 meals in several states. For Philadelphia, the packing and shipping location will be at The Common Place, 58th Street and Chester Avenue. Register to volunteer online: https://www.operationturkey.com/volunteer/
Project HOME Thanksgiving meals
November 24, and after
1515 Fairmount Ave
Each year, Project HOME hosts a Thanksgiving meal for all residents. You can help in this effort by making a gift to support a nutritious gift. For other ways to participate in the Home of the Holidays program, which begins after Thanksgiving Day, email Project HOME.
Share the Food Program
2901 W Hunting Park Ave.
The Share Food Program accepts large and small food donations. They also accept PPE, paper products, diapers and other household items. Call (215) 223-2220 or email the Share Food Program for more information or to schedule an outing.
Engage + Influence initiative
November 12 (9:00-13:30)
1300 Hunting Park Ave.
This event provides food, care packages, new clothing and resources to homeless Philadelphia residents in the Kensington area, and also donates food boxes to residents of North Philly and Kensington. Email Bella Virgi for more information.
JRA Food Packaging and Distribution
November 13 (8:30 – 14:00)
10980 Dutton Rd.
The Jewish Relief Fund is looking for volunteers who can pack boxes of produce and deliver them to community members in need. The options take place in a warehouse in Northeast Philadelphia.
Lutheran Settlement House Thanksgiving Distribution
November 15, 19 (9:00-15:00)
1340 Frankford Ave.
Volunteer shifts include bagging perishable items, helping people sign in when they’re picking up food, and helping them get to their cars. Volunteer shifts may also include organizing and changing pantry items and boxes. Email Meg Finely to volunteer, or call (215) 426-8610 to register to receive a thank you bag.
Recreating the Justice Festival Food Pantry
November 14 (10:00-14:00)
101 Tyson Ave (entrance is on Sackett St.)
Volunteer to stock shelves, assist guests while shopping, checking in and out, and provide general assistance with food and grocery distribution. Computer skills, language skills and the ability to lift boxes are a plus, but not required. To register for the Festival of Justice individually or as a group by e-mail.
DAS Stop food collection
6060 Ridge Ave.
Dynamic Advertising Solutions (DAS) will be holding a non-perishable food drive on November 18th. For more information on food to donate, contact DAS.
November 12, 14, 16, 18, 19
1116 Spring Garden St. (Central City)
November 14, 18
3959 Lancaster Ave. (West Philadelphia location)
Chosen 300 needs volunteers to serve indoor meal programs in Center City and West Philadelphia. For hours and more information on how to volunteer, visit: www.chosen300.org
Bethesda Project HH Week events
November 12 and 19 (16:30 – 18:30)
1630 South St.
To raise awareness, the Bethesda Project will host a potsticker making workshop at the Bao-logy restaurant in Taiwan on November 12th from 4:30pm to 6:30pm. Can’t make the event on the 12th? No problem! The Bethesda Project will also host a wonton making workshop at the same location on November 19th from 4:30pm to 6:30pm.
November 17 (12:00-13:00)
Lunch and Learn: A Conversation on Harm Reduction and Power Dynamics
All are welcome to attend a presentation and discussion with Bethesda Project program staff on information from the National Alliance to End Homelessness Conference., it was last July in Washington, DC.
Conversations will address the importance of including people with lived experience in organizational roles, recognizing the complex role race plays in housing displacement, and recognizing and including shelter occupants in decisions about where they live. There will be time for group discussion and questions.
OHS Scholarship Writing Workshop
November 17 (10:00 – 11:30)
The axis of hope
1401 Arch Street Lower Level – Suburban Station Concourse
Free meal providers are invited to participate in the Office of Homeless Services grant writing workshop. The goal is to train lunch provider staff and volunteers to find grants for non-profit organizations. An expert from the Regional Foundation Center will share his expertise in this 1.5-hour training, covering the most important things meal providers need to know when seeking grants.
Pie in the Sky
Order before November 18th, receive it on November 22nd
420 North 20th St.
Order pies through MANNA’s annual Pie in the Sky fundraiser. The organization, which brings food and support to people at acute nutritional risk due to life-threatening illnesses, is selling a range of cakes. Varieties include berry, pumpkin, apple, pecan, sweet potato and signature chocolate and caramel cheesecake. Prices range from $35 to $50. Order your cakes online by November 18th.