Group meeting together to discuss paperwork

Philadelphia supports community renewal

Philadelphia team gets behind grassroots movement with donations and expertise.

Philadelphia supports community renewal

In June 2020, when protests and marches for racial equity began to fill the streets of our nation’s cities, Philadelphia was a center of activity. Between the economic results of COVID-19 and some looting that occurred in their communities during the marches, residents in north and west Philly found themselves in dire need of food and supplies.

A group of Black Philadelphia chefs and activists responded by planning multiple food drives and distribution events, including June 19, 2020, calling the efforts EverybodyEatsPhilly. Team member Matt Robbins, along with colleagues Darium Poke and Carolyn Larrivee, helped mobilize Baker Tilly Philadelphia team members to raise funds.

The Philadelphia team raised more than $1,700 — enough to provide a week’s worth of essentials including food, baby formula and healthcare items for more than 100 families. Matt, Darium and Carolyn also volunteered — masked and socially distanced, of course — on the day of the event.

“As a proud Philly native who is always looking for ways to contribute to the community, it meant a lot to me to help distribute food and essential supplies to those in need on the historic day, Juneteenth,” said Darium.

Then our team realized they could do even more with their specialized expertise.

Matching skills with needs

Heather Dwyer, who leads the local SOAR committee in the Philadelphia office, said that the team’s conversation turned to how they could support EverybodyEatsPhilly in sustaining and scaling their efforts.

“At Baker Tilly, we have a special set of skills and are uniquely positioned to help community organizations in a specific way, for example with their 501(C)(3) status, tax returns and compliance filings,” she said.

With support from Managing Partner Fred Massanova, Matt is working with EverybodyEatsPhilly to determine how to best help them meet their organizational goals.

“This opportunity spurred a conversation about how we could give back to other organizations in the community in the same way,” said Matt. “We’re excited about the possibilities.”