Program in Olney-Logan feeds needy families

March 29, 2013 2:13:06 PM PDT
With hunger plaguing many, a program in Philadelphia's Olney-Logan section has been distributing food to those in need for the past year.

Sabrina Penn Snyder, a teacher at the E3 Center on Old York Road, realized she had to do something when one of her students told her she didn't have food at home.

"It made me mad because there's no reason why a child shouldn't have anything to eat. I approached Share and took classes to become a food pantry and that's how it all began," said Snyder.

Share is a non-profit organization; its mission is to provide food to residents of all ages.

Partnering with Share, Snyder opened the food pantry at the E3 Center.

William McCain, who gets a limited monthly benefit from the Supplemental Security Income program, also receives food packages here.

"It's kind of a stretch to make $119 last through the month," said McCain.

Some students, who take advantage of the food pantry, are working on their GEDs at the center.

"Coming from a family where people don't go to school, there are drugs, poverty - it shows that you can do better for yourself," said Ciarra Lewis.

One thing Snyder wants to be sure they understand is: "You have to help others," she said.

It is mandatory that the students volunteer at the warehouse where they all pack food for the pantry.

"Sometimes they complain but some of them get a good feeling," said Snyder.

Snyder has met a lot of obstacles as she teaches, counsels, and distributes food so why does she do it?

"Because I would want the same thing for my child if she were in need," she said.

Snyder has learned that the E3 program in the city's Olney-Logan section will no longer be funded after June.

She and others are trying to why but everyone involved is hopeful that somehow the food pantry and GED classes will continue to serve the community for many years to come.