Welcome to PORCH Communities

By Emma Hyatt
Fight Hunger

PORCH is a grassroots hunger relief organization that collects food and cash donations through monthly neighborhood food drives and then distributes food to pantries, families and schools in their communities. The organization started in 2010 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina when three friends, Christine Cotton, Debbie Horwitz, and Susan Romaine began collecting a few cans of tuna and donating it to their local food pantry. The idea has grown into a replicable model of monthly neighborhood food drives to support local food pantries, provide fresh food to families and healthy snacks to schools

PORCH is uniquely positioned to help strengthen the safety net for families who struggle with food insecurity. According to the USDA, those who are food insecure are defined as “…uncertain of having, or unable to acquire enough food to meet the needs of all their members because they have insufficient money or other resources for food.” In the USDA’s latest Household Food Insecurity Report, more than 35 million people in the United States struggled with hunger in 2019. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, around 50 million Americans could be facing food insecurity. Feeding America, a non-profit organization with a nation-wide network of food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and other community based organizations, states that every community in the country is home to families who are food insecure. Many households who are food insecure do not qualify for federal assistance programs and solely rely on food banks and other hunger-relief organizations for support. 

There are over 20 PORCH communities, including communities in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, Ohio and Illinois.  How does the monthly food drive model  work? On a designated day, once a month, neighbors place food donations (tuna, canned beans, and other non-perishable items) on their front porch. A volunteer neighborhood coordinator goes from porch to porch and picks up donations. The donated food is transported to a central PORCH community location. The food is then sorted, packed, and delivered to local food pantries. The food collected is moved from porch to pantry in a matter of hours! Do you want to bring PORCH to your community? It’s a very easy, flexible process. Monthly neighborhood drives are at the essence of this hunger relief model and with the help of your neighbors you can help  make a dent in eradicating food insecurity in your community and across the nation. Now more than ever is the perfect time to give back to your community. To learn more, email Be sure to check out our PORCH Communities Facebook page to get a sense of what we do every day!