Comcast NBCUniversal is making $400,000 in contributions to 10 local organizations in its hometown of Philadelphia to support efforts to fight food insecurity during another challenging holiday season. For the second year in a row, the company’s headquarters and regional teams are combining resources as COVID-19 continues to have a profound impact on the local community. Food insecurity is particularly acute for the elderly, low-income families, the working poor, those with chronic illnesses, and people experiencing homelessness. In 2020, more than 38 million people in the United States experienced hunger, and half of American families say they fear another hungry holiday season.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve worked with our nonprofit partners and local elected officials to understand and respond to the immediate needs of our community members, especially around our hometown of Philadelphia,” said Bret Perkins, Senior Vice President, External and Government Affairs at Comcast NBCUniversal. “This is another way we’re showing up for our city and its residents to provide extra support for the tireless work of our community partners.”
The 10 local organizations receiving $40,000 each from Comcast NBCUniversal include: Coalition Against Hunger, FulFill, MANNA, Philabundance, Share Food Program, The Bucks County Opportunity Council, The Chester County Food Bank, The Food Bank of South Jersey, The Food Bank of Delaware and The Food Trust. The funding will support operational measures, including food purchasing, prepping and packaging, and delivery.
“Comcast has long been an advocate of our work, and we are so grateful for both the organizational and personnel support we receive – most recently in the form of this impactful donation at a time when food costs are incredibly high,” said Sue Daugherty, CEO, MANNA. “These funds will go a long way to help those with acute illnesses use nourishment to heal and alleviate cost burdens for both our organization and the clients we serve.”
“We are grateful for Comcast’s growing investment in our work, and we remain so appreciative to have them as a corporate citizen in here Philadelphia,” said Loree D. Jones, CEO, Philabundance. “This type of gift is truly incredible and made even more special as we work to reach our vulnerable neighbors during the holiday season.”
“This is an enormously generous gift, and we really appreciate all of Comcast’s continued support of our work,” said George Matysik, Executive Director, Share Food Program. “We can’t stress how important this type of direct support is, especially as we continue our swift response to urgent and unforeseen food needs of our neighbors.”
This is the second consecutive year Comcast has made a direct donation to local food banks in greater Philadelphia. In addition to these direct funds, the company has worked with its network of partners to address issues caused or exacerbated by the pandemic, resulting in a number of new or expanded programs including PHLConnectED, the launch and installation of more than 100 regional Lift Zones, support of more than 600 diverse local small business owners through Comcast RISE, and eligibility expansion of Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program, to federal Pell Grant recipients. Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and his wife Aileen also donated $5 million at the start of the pandemic to fund almost half of the total cost to purchase laptop computers for every student in the Philadelphia School District to be able to engage in remote learning.
While the company has primarily focused its pandemic responses on addressing digital equity through Project UP, Comcast’s $1 billion commitment to reach 50 million people with the tools, resources and skills needed to succeed in a digital world, it knows that the digital divide is a complex and multifaceted issue, compounded by the effects of poverty, such as food insecurity. The donation announced today is another way the company is utilizing short- and long-term investments to help address deep, societal barriers that prevent broadband adoption.
Note: Cover photo taken at the Preston & Steve Show’s 2021 Camp Out for Hunger, where Comcast employees, teams donated nearly 350,000 pounds of food to benefit Philabundance.