Peace and Justice Committee
Food & Hunger


Grocery Bag Program:

The Grocery Bag Program collects grocery donations for families in need in New York City, Philadelphia, and other Pennsylvania communities. The program is coordinated through the MCC Material Resource Centers at Ephrata and Harleysville.

  • MCC Material Resource Center of Harleysville has made a commitment to work with area churches in providing a minimum of 100 bags of groceries each month for Philadelphia. These groceries are delivered to Oxford Circle Mennonited Church where they are divided among several other churches for distribution. Participating churches are asked to provide groceries one month each year. Individuals can also contribute to this effort. For more details, see the MRC-Harleysville website or call 215-513-9561.
  • The MCC Material Resources Center at Ephrata will help to match donor congregations directly with recipient churches or organizations - providing the possiblity of building a relationship between donors and recipents that would move into other areas of church life. Churches can pick up empty grocery bags and list of food items to be included at the MRC. Some grocery stores in the Souderton area will also provide grocery bags pre-packed with the required items. For more information, contact the MRC at 717-733-2847.
  • Program History: For about 25 years the Grocery Bag Program in southeastern Pennsylvania was coodinated by volunteers with support of the Peace and Justice Committee. In February each year, bags of groceries donated by a number of congregations were collected in a central location for distribution through churches in Brooklyn, Bronx, and Philadelphia. For example, in February 2007, under the leadership of Mary Keller and Judy Francis 725 bags were donated and distributed. The program structure changed in 2008 -- now individual congregations which would like to provide bags of groceries will be matched with specific urban churches or organizations in need of food.

    You many also call on the Peace and Justice Committee for help getting started with the Grocery Bag program. Please contact us for further information.

    Vegetable Basket Project:

    Donated fruits and vegetables are collected from local farmers and gardners, each year in coordination with with the Food Trust, a Philadelphia based non-profit organization which sets up farmers markets and negotiates with grocery chains to serve low-income communities. The program has delivered an abundance of fresh produce to several agencies that serve low-income people: In years with a good growing season, volunteers have processed and distributed over 10,000 lbs. of donated produce.

    The Vegetable Basket Project collects fruit and vegetables (from mid-July until early October). Drop off your produce on Monday mornings before 9:00 a.m. at any of the designated pickup locations:

    • Care & Share Thrift Shoppe, 783 Route 113, Souderton, PA
      (drop off produce at the side door facing Route 113)
    • Deep Run East Mennonite Church, 350 Kellers Church Road, Perkasie, PA
    • Blooming Glen Creamery Apartments, Route 113, Blooming Glen, PA
    • Mennonite Conference Center, 529 Yoder Road, Harleysville, PA
    • Indian Valley Mennonite Church, 190 Maple Avenue, Harleysville, PA
    • Plains Mennonite Church, 50 Orvilla Road, Hatfield, PA 19440
    • Lamb Foundation (Cornucopia Cupboard), 114 N. Main Street, North Wales, PA

    The summer of 2009 brought us an abundant growing season, and we are pleased to be working with the Food Trust again this year. For more information, see or contact Moriah Zimmerman: 215-575-0444, or Bob Moyer 215-766-0825.

    World Food Crisis: Resources

    Food, Hunger, and Public Policy:

    Every year in Pennsylvania there are several workshops on food, hunger, and public policy. For many years there has been a wideing income gap between rich and poor families here -- which reflects in part changes in public policy over time.
  • Bread for the World, often working with local organizations, offers workshops each spring in or near Philadelphia, Allentown, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, and sometimes other locations as well. See, for example, announcements of the Allentown events which generally include discussion of local, state, national and international food and hunger issues.
  • The Pennsylvania Hunger Action Center monitors U.S. and Pennsylvania legisltation related to food and hunger, and organizes workshops from time to time -- usually in Harrisburg, PA.

  • Location:
    Last Updated: July 11, 2010