Non-profit organizations Sunday Love Project and Sharing Excess have come together to create “Sharing Love,” a meal site offering hot meal services and grocery box takeaways twice a week beginning May 9 at a Gifted Event space in the South Street/Queen Village district.
The Sunday Love Project is a mission to share food and build a community within the homeless community, where many Drexel students volunteer to fulfill their civic engagement requirements. On the other hand, Sharing Excess is a food recovery nonprofit born in Drexel.
Usually, Sunday Love Project serves dinner every Sunday and Tuesday, with brunch every Monday, at the basement of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Rittenhouse Square. However, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, they changed their structure.
For the first two months after the stay-at-home orders, Sunday Love Project still hosted their traditional services at the church by providing pick-up meals on Sundays and Tuesdays, as well as distributing hundreds of meals daily in Kensington — the neighborhood where the program’s founder Margaux Murphy lives, which has some of the highest heroin use rates in the nation.
Now, they are adding Sharing Love to their repertoire.
Meal preparation will happen on-site and will be packed and distributed like the weekly grocery boxes on a walk-up pick-up service at Counter Culture, the event space located at 514 South Street, on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 3 to 5 p.m.
“We look forward to supporting our community for years to come by hosting great events. In the meantime, we’re thrilled our space can be used to support our neighbors in a meaningful way,” shared Amanda Sands, event manager for Counter Culture, in a press release.
Sharing Love’s initial plans are to serve up to 150 prepared meals and 100 boxes each day, following strict use of PPE and temperature check protocols for volunteers in an elevated effort to protect community health. Additionally, they will utilize sidewalk queueing guides to maintain safe social distancing with food distribution directly from the building’s entrance.
This service will be open to anybody interested; not only the homeless community that Sunday Love Project generally serves, but also people who have lost their jobs, are struggling financially, or any Philadelphian in general, Murphy shared in a late-March interview.
“For us, joining forces to ‘Share Love’ feels like the perfect union. Sharing Excess has always been about doing the most good and using our agility and partnerships in order to get food product to a distributor like Sunday Love, one who treats food service with an exceptional level of dignity and care, is just a fantastic combination. I am excited to see what we can achieve,” Evan Ehlers, founder of Sharing Excess, said in a press release.
Frequent Sunday Love collaborator chef Lauren Hooks, a ten-year Philly restaurant vet and restaurant consultant for mission-based food businesses, will lead the daily operations of Sharing Love.
“In addition to the food supply chain we are building with Sharing Excess, one of our goals through this will be to support local restaurants by raising funds to purchase meals for community members in need. By means of an example,” Hooks said. “An early contributor, Peace Advocacy Network, has raised $1000 which will in turn sponsor 100 meals from Soy Cafe as our first restaurant partner. Peewee’s Ice Cream will also be offering free ice cream cones for guests during our first week – as a way to brighten spirits.”
A soon-to-be-live website will be hosted at www.sharing-love.com and social updates forthcoming via @sharinglovePHL.