Bebashi-Transition to Hope Provides Food to Families in Need with the Restart of its Willard Elementary Food Pantry


Philadelphia, PA (September 11, 2020) – With the start of the new school year, Bebashi -Transition to Hope is continuing its work to eliminate food insecurity in Philadelphia. On Friday, September 11, the nonprofit organization celebrated the restart of its food pantry based at Frances E. Willard Elementary School, one of three food pantries operated within Philadelphia’s schools by Bebashi, to serve students and their families.

Throughout the day, Bebashi’s staff distributed a variety of nutritious food items, in bags donated by Aetna Better Health, to those from the school’s community who needed it the most.

“It’s such a wonderful feeling to be able to return to serving our communities to ensure that no Philadelphian goes hungry,” said Janice Tosto, Health Enterprise Zone (HEZ) Project Coordinator.

The pantry at Willard Elementary originally opened in February 2020 and, before the COVID-19 pandemic, served approximately fifty families from the school per week. Unfortunately, the pandemic forced the temporary suspension of this service, but families and school administrators are excited and grateful for the pantry’s reopening.

“Several of our school’s families are struggling to make ends meet, particularly as a result of the pandemic, and to not have to worry about how they will feed their loved ones, provides some much needed relief,” said Teresa Bronte, School Counselor at Willard Elementary.

The school food pantries are a part of Bebashi’s HEZ program through which the organization aims to improve the lives of people living in poverty in HEZ designated zip codes, specifically through hunger relief initiatives and one-to-one resource navigation.

“Bebashi is so much more than just HIV. During our 35 years of serving our communities we have expanded our services and programs to address, directly, the critical needs of those who, traditionally, have been underserved,” said Sebrina Tate, Bebashi’s Director of Programs and Administration.

Bebashi expects to restart its other school food pantries later in the school year and is working on adding a fourth school to its program.

To learn more about Bebashi’s hunger relief efforts, visit


Media Contact:

Jude-Anne Spencer-Phillip
Communications Specialist
Bebashi – Transition to Hope
Phone:  (215) 769-3561 ext. 159

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