When was the last time your Children went to bed hungry!

Hibernian Hunger Project (HHP)

A Brief Overview and History

Hibernian Hunger Project of 2005

What is the Green Show?

Alex Phinn's views on HHP

A Brief Overview and History

The Hibernian Hunger Project (HHP) is a charitable function of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH). Our goal is simple, to help and feed the needy in our own communities.

The HHP was the brainchild of Philadelphia County Board President Bob Gessler, who helped launch the program in October of 1999. Inspired by the Famine Memorial in Philadelphia and the Jeannie Johnston Project,a replica of the 19th century ship that helped save thousands of lives during the Great Irish Famine, Mr Gesslar looked to what we could now do to help the hungry in our own back yard. "We have launched the HHP where we will endeavor to feed 10,000 families in February 2000". It became a national program of the AOH in 2002, and Mr Gessler is now the National Chairman.

Four years ago, during the Thanksgiving season, Hibernian Earl Jeffries of the AOH Division #1 in Bristol, PA, inspired by Mr Gesslar's compassion, helped feed 200 people at St. Mark School Hall in Bristol Borough, establishing a local HHP at Division #1. The next year this local HHP program helped package 2,000 meals that were donated to Aid for Friends, a charity whose mission is to serve the needy, isolated shut-ins, primarily the frail elderly, in the 5 county Greater Philadelphia area.

Sadly, Mr. Jeffries passed away in September of 2003. Since then Bristol's AOH Division #1 has a standing committee of Hibernian members orchestrating food and cash donations to needy charities. During the 2003 holiday season the HHP donated 7,500 lbs. of food to The Bristol Borough Community Action Center, Kelly Family Services, and A Woman's Place, all local charities. From the 2004 St. Patrick Day parade, the HHP was able to donate 16,5000 lbs. of food to Martha's Cupboard, Loaves and Fishes Pantry and A Woman's Place. Also in 2004, the Aid for Friends donation amounted to 13,675 meals, and the holiday season donations collected by the Hibernian Hunger Project amounted to 80,000 servings of pasta, 7,500 can goods, 10,000 diapers, 1,000 juice boxes, 500 cereal boxes and thousands of various household essentials.

Related resources:

AOH Division #1, Bristol, PA (215) 788-9806

Loaves & Fishes Pantry First United Methodist Church - (215) 946-5800

The Bristol Borough Community Action Center - (215) 785-3296

Martha's Cupboard (215) 945-4486




Hibernian Hunger Project of 2005

On July 15th and 16th at Conwell-Egan Catholic High School, A.O.H. members, people from the community, CEC students and St. Mark's students packaged 15,500 meals. 15,000 meals were delivered to AID For Friends and 500 meals delivered to the Veterans Organization. Many thanks go to the volunteers and to the people that made donations to Hibernian Hunger Project.

In Memory of Earl Jeffries

- Pat Stanley

Photos of HHP 2005

What is the Green Show?

Alex Phinn's views on HHP

Well another St. Patrick's Day has come and gone. It seems that with each year, the Hibernian Hunger Project seems to gain steam. I just can't believe when Earl was stomping around at the Club and spewing off about collecting canned goods for the poor, I couldn't, didn't, or maybe wanted to hear him. I look back and can't believe I didn't hear him in his own way saying "FEED THE POOR"... I am just so glad that before Earl passed away, I HEARD him and UNDERSTOOD.

The simple fact and the bottom line is this - there are innocent, hungry children of all races in our area, and I am compelled to do something about it. Fortunately, for me and the HHP, there are others who have heard and believe the same thing I do.

I am asking everyone to pray and really think about what I am repeating from Earl... You know, recognizing the poor and doing something about it are two totally different actions. The latter is the one that Christ wants in our world. Please, with our most Blessed Holiday in our wake, let the Holy Spirit move you to prayer, donations, or physically going and helping a neighbor or a stranger.

Our Irish heritage has experienced severe hunger as we well know, and I wonder how many of our relatives suffered as children. I also wonder who, back then, helped our relatives, and who looked the other way. Let our A.O.H./L.A.O.H. community continually be the ones who recognize the needs of others and do something about it.

Alex Phinn