PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Mount Airy Groceries along Germantown Avenue in Philadelphia started off as a grassroots effort at the beginning of April.
What began on a front porch, and quickly turned into a donated storefront, is now flourishing.
The couple and masterminds behind it all are Nicholas Freeman and Jessica Rights who were both laid off from their catering jobs during the pandemic. Now they use their industry skills to fight food insecurity.
"The flipside of food scarcity is also food waste, which is also a huge problem," said Freeman.
Mount Airy Groceries is based around volunteers.
Freeman and Rights get food donated from wholesalers like Philly Food Works. Food is then delivered to charities like Germantown Face to Face and Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network. Those organizations distribute the food or volunteers drop it off directly.
Mount Airy Groceries serves anywhere from 100 to 400 families every week. People can come directly to the store. Many clients have been directly impacted by the pandemic.
The charity helps them avoid high-risk situations like getting groceries.
"I noticed how many people were very stressed out because all of a sudden people who had access to food realized they didn't have the access they had before," said Jessica Rights.
The couple plans on keeping their operation going as long as possible.
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Mount Airy couple starts food distribution effort to tackle hunger insecurity during pandemic