November 14, 2023

Catholic Social Services Awarded $60,000 Grant from the Connelly Foundation to Benefit Martha’s Choice Marketplace and Community Farm

Martha’s Choice Marketplace is the largest and most visited food pantry in Montgomery County.

Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (CSS) has been awarded a $60,000 grant from the Connelly Foundation benefiting Martha’s Choice Marketplace and Community Farm, which is located in Norristown (Montgomery County).

The grant will be used for general operating support and key projects in calendar years 2024 and 2025. The funds will help Martha’s respond to what has been the highest sustained levels of community food need ever seen at the pantry: a 100% increase since the pandemic.  The funds will also positively impact production and safety on Martha’s Community Farm, which is located on the grounds of the former Saint Gabriel’s Hall in Audubon. 

Through the Martha’s Community Farm initiative, thousands of pounds of fresh produce are grown each year, with the specific goal of providing pantry guests with culturally appropriate items that are not widely available at regional food banks such as tomatillos, sweet potatoes, peppers, and cilantro.

This year, 25 different crops and 20,000 pounds of food were produced and distributed. Produce grown at Martha’s Community Farm further supplements households benefiting from Martha’s Choice.

For the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2023, Martha’s Choice completed nearly 19,500 household food pantry distributions to over 3,850 families made up of 16,000 individuals, over 7,000 of which are children. Nearly 2.3 million pounds of food, personal care, and household items were distributed during that period alone. 

In addition to distributing food, Martha’s Choice also provides a holistic approach to hunger prevention by offering nutritional education and personal empowerment opportunities uplifting each client’s dignity.

About the Connelly Foundation

The Connelly Foundation was founded in 1955 by John and Josephine Connelly. John Connelly achieved remarkable business success as president of Connelly Containers and later Crown Cork and Seal, both manufacturing companies based in Philadelphia. He and his wife Josephine, strongly motivated by their Catholic faith and their love for the Philadelphia region, dedicated their good fortune to helping others. Over the past 68 years the Connelly Foundation has donated over $480 million to nonprofit organizations in the Philadelphia area focusing on education, human services, the arts, and civic life. The Connelly Foundation has always placed a particular emphasis on Catholic education, with thousands of Philadelphia-area students having attended Catholic high schools through the foundation’s Neumann Scholars and Josephine C. Connelly Achievement Award programs. For more information, please visit

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Editor’s Note: For more information on Martha’s Choice Marketplace, please visit

For more information on Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, visit

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Katie Rogers
Media and Events Specialist
215-587-3747 (office)