Summer Food Program Ensures Healthy Meals for Kids

Summer Food
The PHA Summer Food Service Program offers breakfast and lunch in addition to comprehensive summer youth enrichment activities at Bartram’s Garden, running until Friday, August 12th. Shown here, a group of young women enjoy their lunch and socializing at the John F. Street Community Center in North Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Housing Authority’s (PHA) school age residents and those in surrounding neighborhoods will have access to healthy breakfasts and lunches, even thru their summer vacations. The PHA Summer Food Service Program, as it has for decades, will offer those meals in addition to comprehensive summer youth enrichment activities, running now until Friday, August 12th.

 “Our young people have to have access to good, nutritional meals to maintain their health, and use their vacation time to learn new skills,” said PHA President and CEO Kelvin Jeremiah. “Many families in the city depend upon Summer Food because of the high poverty rate here and related food insecurity.”

The housing authority plans to host the program in Southwest at Bartram Village, Hours of operation are Monday thru Friday 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The agency’s Resident Programs and Partnerships department (RPP) manages this critical and highly successful program. An estimated 45,000 meals will be served to youth ages 3 to 18 from public housing sites and the surrounding neighborhoods. The program will also provide 26 part-time jobs for PHA residents and local residents this year. 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, or by texting “FOOD” or “MEALPA” to 877-877, or calling 1-855-252-MEAL. For more information about participating in PHA’s Summer Food Service Program, call 215-684-3959.

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