Students Help Fight Hunger with “Souper Bowl for Caring”

Fifteen local schools and Parish Religious Education Programs (PREP) helped tackle hunger last month by participating in the Souper Bowl for Caring. This national collection drive uses the excitement surrounding the NFL’s Super Bowl to mobilize youth in a united effort to care for people in their local communities who are hungry and in need.

In the weeks leading up to Super Bowl LII, students worked to fight hunger and poverty in their community by collecting more than 17,000 pounds of food. The food will be used to stock the shelves of 40 food cupboards located throughout the five county metropolitan area.

Brooke Mullen, Assistant Director of Community Relations for NDS said, “The Souper Bowl of Caring is a great way for students to come together around sports and fun while also being mindful of the needs within our community. Students are empowered to help neighbors in need and to be cognizant of those who may not have a ‘bowl of soup’ to eat, while celebrating a great day of football. This year was especially exciting for our students to participate, as this year’s Souper Bowl marked the year the Eagles won the Super Bowl.”

Students who attend Sacred Heart Academy in Bryn Mawr collected 4,000 cans of soup this year. This was the largest collection of cans ever collected by one school.

Kelly Weber, History and Theology Teacher and Community Service Coordinator said, “Sacred Heart Academy challenged our school community to reach 2018 cans of soup for our Annual Souper Bowl of Caring to match the year of the Eagles Superbowl. To help us reach this goal, we also invited alumnae to participate by dropping off cans or making a donation on Venmo. All of our constituencies […]

By |March 1st, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Students Help Fight Hunger with “Souper Bowl for Caring”

Saint Helena’s Food Cupboard

For more than three years, the Saint Helena’s Food Cupboard located in Philadelphia’s Olney neighborhood has provided emergency food assistance to those in need. Each week, the cupboard directly impacts approximately 40 clients, who receive a variety of fresh and non-perishable foods including canned tuna, salmon, lean meats, fresh produce, whole grain pasta and rice, and low-sodium canned goods.

Sister Anna Marie, a Religious Sister of Mercy and Registered Nurse, manages the cupboard located in the basement of the Saint Helena’s Convent with the help of seven dedicated volunteers. In addition to managing the food bank, Sister Anna Marie visits homebound older adults through the “Friendly Visitors” Program.

Sister Anna Marie said, “Originally the cupboard was located at Incarnation of Our Lord Parish. Though we relocated three years ago, we continue to serve clients from that area in addition to those who live in various zip codes including 19120, 19126, and 19111.”

Each week, the Saint Helena’s Food Cupboard is open Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Sister Anna Marie said, “We try to provide each client in need with two small meals such as pasta with meat sauce or macaroni and cheese. In addition, we offer blood pressure screening and health education.”

Saint Helena’s Food Cupboard is supported by Nutritional Development Services’ Community Food Program. In addition, parishioners from several parishes including Saint Ambrose, Saint Williams, and Saint James help to keep the shelves stocked with healthy, nourishing food items.

NDS is grateful to Sister Anna Marie and Saint Helena’s Food Cupboard’s volunteers for their dedication to fighting hunger. To make a donation to the Saint Helena’s Food Cupboard, please email Sister Anna Marie, amlrsm@hotmail.com. 

By |September 22nd, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Saint Helena’s Food Cupboard

Weaver’s Way Food Justice Committee supports NDS Community Food Program

Looking back on the summer, organizations across the Philadelphia region worked diligently to continue the fight against hunger, including Weaver’s Way Coop Food Justice Committee, Chestnut Hill/Mt. Airy. The committee put together a food drive that resulted in over 2,000 pounds of food donated to neighboring food cupboards including our partner Holy Cross Food Pantry, Mt. Airy.  Items donated included canned goods, fresh produce, coffee, tea, and household items.   Additionally, over $1200 was raised for Holy Cross, money that would allow the pantry to offer fresh produce all summer long.

NDS Community Food Program is thankful for the generosity of Weaver’s Way. It is people and organizations like them that help make a difference in the lives of those in need, especially during the summertime when donations are down and school is out of session.

By |September 14th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Weaver’s Way Food Justice Committee supports NDS Community Food Program

NEW Loaves and Fishes Summer 2017 Newsletter

Please click here to read our Loaves and Fishes Summer Newsletter for 2017!

You will read about community gardens that we have helped to get started at several sites this year including:

St. Raymond’s House in Germantown

West Catholic Preparatory School

St. Francis Villa, Kensington

Mission of St. Joan of Arc, Harrowgate

Catholic Social Services-Chester

DITO (Dream, Invent, Think, Organize), West Oak Lane


By |September 7th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on NEW Loaves and Fishes Summer 2017 Newsletter

Things to remember about doing an NDS food drive:

Our new driver, Don, will be available Monday through Friday!     
Remember to send back your response slip as soon as possible if you need a pick-up.
Call Denise Hopkins at 215-895-3470 if you have any questions or to arrange a pick-up.
It is still important to let us know if you are participating even if you are giving your collection to a local food cupboard or keeping it at your parish food cupboard!
Please be sure to box food items! Please use small paper size boxes if possible.
Take a picture of your students and food drive collection, please send them to Denise Hopkins at dhopkins@ndsarch.org.
Please be sure you have parent/guardian permission before you send us pictures, because we may use them in our newsletter or on our social media accounts.
Friend us on Facebook: NDS Community Food Program    Follow us on Twitter:  NDS_Community Food    Follow us on Instagram:  nds_community_food


By |June 20th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Things to remember about doing an NDS food drive:

Nutritional Development Services To Participate In 21st Annual Walk Against Hunger

Nutritional Development Services (NDS) will participate in the Coalition Against Hunger’s 21st Annual Thomas’ Walk Against Hunger, Saturday April 8, 2017.

This annual fundraiser benefits more than 100 food pantries, soup kitchens, and anti-hunger agencies in the region, including NDS. Together, these programs help hundreds of thousands of local families put food on their tables each day. Agencies such as NDS form teams, raise money, and participate in the walk. 80 percent of the funds raised by NDS will be used to combat hunger through the organization’s Community Food Program. The remaining 20 percent will go to the Coalition.

For over forty years, NDS’ mission has been to serve children and those in need with healthy food and food-related resources. NDS accomplishes its mission in two distinct ways: by administering the federally-funded child nutrition programs and through the privately supported Community Food Program.

This year’s walk will start with a lap around the field and then continues with a lap around the stadium. Participants will enjoy a free breakfast and snacks, live music and entertainment, and games and face painting for kids.

To learn more about the Thomas’ Walk Against or register to walk, visit http://action.hungercoalition.org/page/s/register-to-walk-2017. To support the NDS team by making a donation visit http://action.hungercoalition.org/page/outreach/splash/walk2017-nds.

By |April 6th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Nutritional Development Services To Participate In 21st Annual Walk Against Hunger

In memory of Aid For Friends Founder, Rita Ungaro Schiavone

When people in the Philadelphia region hear the name Rita Ungaro Schiavone, immediately their thoughts go to Aid For Friends, the local non-profit giant that serves tens of thousands of home-bound seniors with healthy meals and friendly visits. Many do not realize that in addition to founding Aid for Friends 43 years ago, Rita also was the founding impetus behind the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Community Food Program back in the early 1970s.

In her work with the Cardinal’s Commission on Human Relations, Rita Schiavone saw the need to assist individuals and families in our area who were struggling to put healthy food on their table. She realized that local people were hungry and in need of help. Rita approached local parishes and schools and encouraged them to organize food collections to assist persons in need. Under her leadership, a network of over 30 food cupboards sprang up to fill the need. Her own parish, St. Jerome, was one of the original thirty food cupboards and continues today to meet the needs of hungry people in the neighborhood of Holme Circle.

Rita was a real pioneer in the anti-hunger field. She saw a need and she realized that as Christians, we are called to feed the hungry and meet the needs of others. She realized early on that we serve the hungry “not because they are Christian and in need” but rather “because we are Christian and are called to serve.” Many of the original food cupboards were hosted in other churches and community centers. It was a truly an inter-faith effort!

Rita moved on from the Cardinal’s Commission in 1974 to found Aid For Friends but left behind a strong program that was later moved to Nutritional […]

By |March 27th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on In memory of Aid For Friends Founder, Rita Ungaro Schiavone

Peanut Butter & Jelly Drive Is A Great Success!

The Community Food Program celebrated the completion of the 2016 Peanut Butter & Jelly Drive at St. Aloysius Academy, Bryn Mawr.  We collected over 50,000 pounds of Peanut Butter & Jelly from over 50 schools and religious education programs throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.  We also received a fantastic collection from St. Eugene PREP program in Primos.  We are proud of all the students that collect PB&J for us and for sharing it with the many needy people in our area.  Thank you to everyone who participated this year!

By |November 17th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Jubilee Year of Mercy and Feeding the Hungry by Anne Healy Ayella

The Jubilee Year of Mercy provides all of us with so many wonderful opportunities to reflect, pray, learn and act.

Pope Francis reminds all of us in Misericordiae Vultus, the proclamation that opened the year that Jesus is the “FACE” of the Father’s mercy. Jesus reveals the mercy of God by His words, actions and person.  We follow Jesus’ example when we open ourselves to the Father’s mercy by looking sincerely into the eyes of our brothers and sisters.  This year of mercy gives us the opportunity to reflect:

How have I experienced the Father’s mercy in my life?

How is Jesus calling me to look into the eyes of those in need?

Another way Pope Francis phrases it is “to ENCOUNTER the other.” Who are we called to encounter?  Maybe it’s an estranged neighbor, a cranky relative, a disagreeable co-worker, a teenage son or daughter, a hungry family struggling to put healthy food on their table.

Pope Francis goes on to say: “It is absolutely essential for the Church and for the credibility of her message that she live and testify to mercy. Mercy is “the beating heart of the Gospel.”  To live mercy, we must rediscover both the spiritual works of mercy and the corporal works of mercy.  In this, we’ll focus on feeding the hungry and giving drink to the thirsty, but we can also consider- are these the works of mercy I am being called to practice?  If not, what am I being called to?

Some works of mercy are easier for us than others. One suggestion is to practice a different work of mercy each week or each month.  Pray about it and decide where you need to grow.  Feeding the hungry has always come […]

By |February 22nd, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

NDS’ Anne Healy Ayella Receives Hunger Fighter Award

Anne Healy Ayella, Director for Community Relations for Nutritional Development Services, received the Hunger Fighter Award at the annual Coaltion Against Hunger breakfast on Friday, November 6th.   The award was in recognition of Anne’s life-long commitment to alleviating hunger in the community.

By |November 19th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments