ABOVE PHOTO: Kids at the John F. Street Community Center enjoying their lunch during a previous PHA summer meal program event, one of 13 sites where it is offered.
The Philadelphia Housing Authority’s (PHA) school age residents and those in surrounding neighborhoods will have access to healthy breakfasts and lunches this summer, despite the disruptions caused by the national health emergency.
“Access to good, nutritional meals is critical to the overall development of young people in addition to maintaining their health during this crisis,” PHA President and CEO Kelvin A. Jeremiah said. “Many families in Philadelphia need access to food because of the city’s high poverty rate and the additional challenges of the pandemic.”
The PHA Summer Food Service Program will offer those meals from now until Friday, August 14. Hours of operation are Monday thru Friday 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Youth ages 3 to 18 from public housing sites and the surrounding neighborhoods will pick up an estimated 25,000 meals.
This year they are utilizing a “grab and go” model to adhere to social distancing requirements. The program also provides 25 part-time jobs for PHA residents and local residents this year.
The following sites will be participating in the program: Abbottsford Homes, Bartram Village, Cambridge/Richard Allen, Fairhill Apartments, Harrison Plaza, Johnson Homes, Lucien E. Blackwell Community Center, Norris Apartments, Oxford Village, Raymond Rosen, Spring Garden, West Park Apartments, and Wilson Park.
PHA is partnering with CBS Kosher Foods to offer the program this year, greatly reducing the agency’s costs.
Children who do not live near a participating PHA site can still go to a neighboring site or one of 150 sites operated by the City’s Department of Parks and Recreation, which will offer similar meals. Residents, including those who were formerly served at sites that are not hosting the program this summer, can go online to the USDA website at www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks to locate the Summer Food locations closest to them.
Residents can also look for the site nearest to them at: www.phila.gov/youthprograms/meals/Pages/default.aspx, www.hungercoalition.org/summermeals, by texting “FOOD” or “MEALPA” to 877-877, or by calling 1-855-252-MEAL.
For more information about participating in PHA’s Summer Food Service Program, call (215) 684-3959.