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Philabundance helps West Philly nonprofit victimized by theft

Shelves at Philabundance stocked once again
Shelves at Philabundance stocked once again 02:11

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The shelves at Philabundance are stocked, once again. The nonprofit brought in over a half million pounds of food thanks to Toyota and other partners.

It comes at a critical time as a West Philly nonprofit was victimized by theft.

"We don't close. We have to make sure that we're there for the people," Brian Jenkins, executive director of Chosen 300, said.

Even on a bitter-cold morning, the work to feed the hungry at the Chosen 300 in West Philly continues.

But on this day, the work is even more urgent as the nonprofit tries to recover from being the victim of a theft.

"The first thing they looked for was clothes and food which, for us, doesn't make any sense, because if anybody comes to this door, whether we're doing our meal hours or not, if someone says 'I need food,' we put a package together, we let them take it out," Jenkins said.

The theft happened Wednesday night.

Organizers say surveillance cameras captured the person walking through the main area of the building and minutes later they walked out with a container full of goods. 

Jenkins says in addition to clothes and food, they stole a piano keyboard and a speaker with a value of over $1,500.

"When we adjust the budget to say what we can spend this month, we now have 1500 less that we can spend," he said.

As Chosen 300 begins to recoup its losses, some of that help will be coming from Philabundance and the Toyota Tundra Food Drive.

CBS News Philadelphia and The CW Philly are also sponsors of the drive. 


Chopper 3 was overhead as dozens of Toyota Tundras made their way to Citizens Bank Park. Once there, over a hundred volunteers helped unload the haul to donate it to Philabundance.

"It's a freezing day, the wind is blowing," Aul Muller, from the Tri-State Toyota Dealers Association, said. "It's heartwarming, it keeps you warm, to see the effort that these people are putting in for such a worthy cause."

After the 650,000 pounds of food were unloaded, they distributed everything to hundreds of nonprofits throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. 

"We've seen the need increase dramatically in our area as a result of COVID, economic crisis and inflation over the last several years and more people are coming in for help. Back in the day, we served 90k per week which was a lot, now it's 135 thousand,"  Loree Jones Brown, from Philabundance, said.

Back in West Philly, Chosen 300 continues to prepare for a weekend food distribution in Ardmore.

"It's not going to be the answer but it makes it a little easier," Jenkins said.

Helping people make ends meet.

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