'Caring For Friends' offers friendship along with meals in Philly region

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Two brothers in Northeast Philadelphia have turned their empathy and conviction into a life-sustaining mission for hundreds, if not thousands of people.

Caring for Friends is a non-profit with 10,000 volunteers helping to make and distribute about half a million pounds of food weekly to the counties surrounding Philadelphia.

That's not the only thing they're delivering. They're also serving friendships by sharing meals with thousands of seniors.

Steve and Vince Schiavone are the heart and soul of Caring for Friends. Steve was inspired as a young boy while visiting a friend with his mom, Rita.

"She's crying to my mom and said, 'I'm tired of being hungry and alone. I have no friends in the world and I just can't take it anymore,'" he explained.

His mom made two promises to that woman.

"One, she promised she would be her friend, and two she promised she would feed her," said Steve.

Rita founded Caring for Friends in 1974.

"When COVID hit, we took it to a place we never thought we could," said Vince.

He says the non-profit grew its operation by 5,000% in the first few months of the pandemic to help feed the community.

In the last year, the brothers have delivered 17 million pounds of food and safely visited 33,000 seniors. They say it's what their mom would have wanted.

"No one should be hungry or alone in a world of caring people. We're really blessed in Philadelphia, there's a lot of people who care," said Vince.
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