March 26, 2020
Nonprofit hunger relief organization Philabundance will be closed for the remainder of the week after an employee reported contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19.
The organization issued a statement Thursday afternoon on its website, explaining that the closure is a precautionary measure to protect staff, volunteers and the public:
On Wednesday, March 25, a staff member informed administration about having come into contact with someone 11 days ago who has now tested positive for coronavirus; the staff member has no symptoms of the virus and has placed themselves under quarantine. The same day, a second employee informed administration that someone in their household has a fever. This staff member has exhibited no symptoms and has also placed themselves under quarantine.
The organization will close its warehouses in South Philadelphia on Galloway Street and North Philadelphia on Berks Street for two days to under go a specialized cleaning regimen. They hope to reopen on Monday, March 30 and immediately resume emergency food distributions.
Philabundance serves 90,000 people across the Delaware Valley on a weekly basis, providing meals for children, seniors, students, single parents and others in need.
During the closure, the organization advises those who need meals to visit WhyHunger.org for information on local alternatives. Other resources include Auntbertha.com and the city of Philadelphia's meal distribution program for students.
Local celebrities have rallied in recent weeks to support Philabundance in its mission during the coronavirus pandemic. Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz and wife Julie Ertz donated $100,000 to the organization through their foundation, with another large contribution coming from center Jason Kelce. A fundraiser started by "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" stars Rob McElhenney and Kaitlin Olson also provided more than $100,000 for Philabundance.
The organization will continue to provide updates related to its COVID-19 response in the days and weeks to come.