Free turkeys are nice, but everyday staples have more impact, says nonprofit leader

Philly Rising: Frontline Dads
Frontline Dads makes free food deliveries for elders, veterans and mothers during the holiday season. Photo credit Antionette Lee/KYW Nerwsradio
By , KYW Newsradio

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Reuben Jones is well known around the City of Brotherly Love for his community service and social justice advocacy. He’s the executive director of Frontline Dads, a nonprofit that mentors at-risk youth and runs violence-prevention programs.

Jones says supporting and building the community is really important to the organization.

One of their latest acts of service has been keeping an eye on the students at a North Philadelphia middle school during dismissal time. The uptick in gun violence around schools motivated him and other volunteers to start a safety corridor program to help protect students from harm.

Jones gives away food with other volunteers through the Community Food Bank on every Thursday, in the community, and every Saturday, at a senior facility at 34th Street and Haverford Avenue.

"You know, there’s a lot of seniors that struggle with mobility," Jones says.

He says one reason why Frontline Dads started a delivery service, making sure people who can’t make it to a food bank still have access to hot meals.

He says he wants people to have a decent holiday. "No matter what your religion, no matter if you celebrate or not, we just want you to be able to go through that time with a decent meal on the table. It’s important for us to provide."

He says everyday pantry staples and meats are even more important than the holiday charity.

"I know that there’s a lot of turkey giveaways, and that's beautiful and we support that. And when we can get them, we give them away as well," Jones said. "But, you know, people also need staples, right, in order to have meals beyond that one holiday."

For the past year during the pandemic the free food program has brought a warm heart and full stomach to communities around the city. And now during this holiday season, they’re looking forward to making special deliveries directly to the doorsteps of the most vulnerable, anywhere in the city.

He says their focus is on seniors and veterans with disabilities, limited mobility or transportation issues, and new and expecting mothers.

"If it expands beyond that, we’ll let folks know. We really want to target folks who have a need for food and have some type of mobility, or transportation issues," he said.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Antionette Lee/KYW Nerwsradio