Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board kicks off 4th Annual Valley Forge Freedom from Hunger Food Drive

Food insecurity in Montgomery County is part of the reason why the VFTCB established the food drive in 2015 as a farewell “gift” to Pope Francis. (Image from last year's food drive courtesy VFTCB)

The Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board kicked off its fourth annual Valley Forge Freedom from Hunger Food Drive on Friday by lending a hand to help underserved individuals at a Norristown community food shelter.

A former executive chef, VFTCB’s president & CEO, Mike Bowman, worked alongside Montgomery County Commissioners and members of the Culinary Arts Institute at Montgomery County Community College to cook a meal for between 100 and 150 people at Haws Kitchen, located in Haws Avenue United Methodist Church in Norristown, according to a press release.

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Custard dessert was donated by Shake Shack King of Prussia.

“It’s so important that we keep our commitment to run this annual food drive, and support our residents in Montgomery County, especially those who are in times of need,” said Bowman. “It’s about raising awareness, as well as showing them the respect they deserve.”

The VFTCB’s Valley Forge Freedom from Hunger Food Drive will collect donated canned goods at various drop-off locations throughout the county from Sept. 16-30. This year’s goal is a record 5,000 pounds, and online monetary donations will also be accepted.

That’s good news to folks like Mary Alice Laws, who started the Haws soup kitchen in 2000 with two teams serving freshly cooked meals every other Sunday. Now, 10 teams of church and community members serve each Sunday – that’s 6,000 people a year, including veterans, and children, she said.

Laws also added that their goal is to make guests feel at home, and certain staff members even work to supply them with clothing, and help them find jobs, and apartments.

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