Some of the Piperno family’s first charitable projects, even before the Domenica Foundation began, involved food donations. Elena Piperno, the foundation’s director, remembers assembling and delivering food baskets for Christmas distribution at Sacred Heart parish when she was only 6 years old. That tradition continues to this day.
In addition to giving food directly, we fight hunger in Camden and South Jersey by supporting partners that provide food but also address food insecurity in more systemic ways.
As soon as we started working with Wholesome Riches to distribute food at Veterans Memorial School in Camden, we met Eve. Eve volunteers with Wholesome Riches every week. Here is her story in her words:
“I was born and raised in Camden and came from a broken home, with my parents separated. I was a troubled youth growing up — in and out of detention centers. I obtained a GED after I finally was released.
“Four children later and in an abusive relationship, I found myself addicted to substances which landed me in and out of substance abuse and mental health programs. I became homeless for the next 3 years in Camden. I was hungry, cold, tired and ready to surrender.
“One day, I saw a mobile unit parked for services, and I asked them for help. They connected me with resources, which led me getting help and eventually becoming part of the Camden Coalition. At one of our meetings, I met Michele [Pilla] and Grace [Morrow] from Wholesome Riches, and they invited me to volunteer at the schools.
“This not only helped provide my family with food each week but it gave me a place to serve and to receive guidance and prayer! Wholesome Riches is my family.”
According to Michele Pilla, Eve now brings her mother and brother to volunteer each week to Wholesome Riches.
Furthermore, Michele connected Eve with a partnering business, which has offered her a full-time job. “We are so excited for Eve,” said Michele, “and thankful to be a small part of her story!”
Domenica Foundation is also thankful to be part of Eve’s story–and of the stories of many families served and nourished by our partner Wholesome Riches.