PHILADELPHIA, PA (August 7, 2020): Philadelphia City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson (2nd District) and Philabundance worked together to host a free emergency food distribution on Friday, August 7 for the Eastwick community members affected by Tropical Storm Isaias.
Philabundance, the largest hunger relief organization in the Delaware Valley, and Johnson staffers distributed approximately 500 food shares to families in need at the Penrose Elementary School. The Eastwick section of Southwest Philadelphia is located within Councilman Johnson’s Second Councilmanic District.
Residents received up to 50 pounds of food in two 25 pound boxes. One box contained shelf stable items like pasta, sauce, canned meat, beans and soup. The second box had a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.
“Tropical Storm Isaias caused severe flooding, power outages and damage across the Eastwick section of Philadelphia earlier this week (August 4),” Councilman Johnson said. “I went out to the scene that day and saw the devastation first hand. I spoke to residents about what they needed in the short-term to help them. They told me they needed cleaning supplies, help with trash removal and food to replace to food lost when the flooding knocked out power to many homes. I immediately contacted Philabundance CEO Loree D. Jones to see if her organization could provide assistance to the residents. That call led to this emergency food giveaway today. Thank you to Philabundance for helping the residents of Eastwick.”
The City of Philadelphia’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) prompted Eastwick residents to evacuate on August 4 if they did not have power or had over 12 inches of water in their homes. Eastwick residents are still cleaning up and with many still without power and the contents of their fridges spoiling, providing citizens access to food is essential.
Philadelphia Fire Commissioner and OEM Director Adam Thiel said the neighborhoods hit hardest by the August 4 flooding included Eastwick and Manayunk, areas familiar with flooding over the years. The Philadelphia Fire Department completed about 200 rescue missions that day, many of them in Eastwick.
Since the flooding happened, Councilman Johnson’s office has been assisting residents. One day after the flooding (August 5), Johnson held a previously scheduled food giveaway with the Share Food Program at the Hardy Williams Veterans Center Apartments at 7100 Grovers Avenue in Eastwick. An estimated 11,400 pounds of food was distributed at that event with boxes of food being personally delivered by Councilman Johnson to the homes of those in neighborhoods cleaning up from flooding.
Johnson has also worked OEM to provide services and cleaning supplies to impacted residents and with the Philadelphia Street’s Department to have trash trucks come to Eastwick this week to remove trash and debris.
Councilman Johnson’s office was also able to give out to residents today a limited amount of free home cleaning supplies as a result of a generous donation to The Eastwick Friends and Neighbors community group.
“Many residents told me this may have been the worst flooding in the area since Hurricane Floyd in 1999,” Johnson said. “I recognize that we have these natural occurrences that happen from time to time but they have a significant impact on the quality of life on the people who live inside Eastwick. I am committed to helping the residents of the homes impacted by this week’s flooding to get as much help and assistance from City, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and federal agencies as possible. They deserve to receive the type of support they do need so when these floods happen their lives aren’t turned upside down.”