Small Things nonprofit working to make larger community impact through food distribution

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Pastor Vito Baldini, Executive Director of Small Things, says he recognizes that small things can change the world. "It can be serving someone a meal, giving them a bag of groceries," says Rev. Baldini.

The local nonprofit he leads, called Small Things, is focused on food distribution to families and seniors across the city.

"We believe food establishes connections and community and is a great way to help people," says Rev. Baldini. "We believe that change happens through these small things and then it can actually lead to a great impact in someone's life."

Small Things is an evolution of the Liberti Church Easter Outreach, an annual project that distributed 10,000 meals at Easter.

When COVID hit, Rev. Baldini says the outreach changed due to a greater need. "We decided to go from an annual project to distributing food six days a week," explains Rev. Baldini.

The food distributed is provided by Philabundance. "We're super thankful for their partnership," says Rev. Baldini. "This is impossible without them."

"Our focus is on relieving hunger now, as well as ultimately ending hunger for good," says Caity Cogan, an agency coordinator at Philabundance.

"We source food for 20 to 25 churches," says Rev. Baldini. "Our job is to support those partners in reaching the needs of their neighbors."

At the Urban Worship Center in Kensington, food is packed by volunteers on Friday nights.

"All the bags include non-perishable goods, so there's some mac and cheese, there's rice, tuna fish," says Rev. Baldini. "Each bag serves ten meals."

Deliveries happen on Saturdays and are coordinated by Stacy Sanseverino who volunteers each week.

Drivers arrive at 9 a.m. to receive a paper route for their deliveries. "And they'll take as many bags as they need and then they go off and deliver," says Sanseverino. "Today, we have 17 routes that we're doing consistently."

Sanseverino, along with many other volunteers, deliver over 200 meals every single week.

"It's about 150 seniors, some families," says Rev. Baldini. "And it really was the way that we saw that neighbors could care for neighbors."

Cogan says there has been an uptick in need of home deliveries to get food to seniors across the city.

"The fact that we can help them with a simple meal and show them some compassion and kindness is a great thing," says Rev. Baldini.

For more information:

Small Things: www.smallthingsphilly.org
Philabundance: https://www.philabundance.org/
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