Summer has officially come to Philadelphia - the season of farmers markets, street festivals, and water ice. Children are off from school, and parents must first find child care, camps, and other options to keep their children safe, active, and nourished. In a city where nearly 1 in 8 children in Philadelphia experience food insecurity, this last part can be a challenge.
When schools are closed and reliable access to school meals ends, many families scramble to stretch food budgets beyond their limits. Fortunately, the federally funded Summer Meals Program provides free meals and snacks to kids and teens age 18 and under throughout the city. Local organizations, with the help of hundreds of residents who organize summer meals sites in their communities, provide an important resource for families who struggle to provide consistent access to nutritious food at home.
Last summer, the program had over 1,000 sites, but there are still children in Philadelphia who aren’t being served. It is the goal of anti-hunger and community organizations all across the city to reach every food insecure child in Philly, and provide them with a safe space and good food.
The Coalition –with the help of partners like the Mayor’s Office of Education, Nutritional Development Services, Philly Parks & Recreation, and many more –has improved knowledge and access to sites and free meals with our Summer Meals Map. Updated with new information every week, this interactive map provides parents contact information, and hours of operation for meals sites in their neighborhoods.
Summer is here, but hunger doesn’t have a season.
Spread the word to your neighbors and friends. Go to PhillySummerMeals.org to find meals sites in your neighborhood.
Advocacy and Communicaitons Associate