The City of Philadelphia announced the launch of the 2014 Summer Meals program and the opening of summer meal sites, which provide free and healthy breakfast, lunches and snacks to thousands of Philadelphians ages 18 and younger every Monday through Friday through August 29, 2014.
“Making sure our young people have nutritious, satisfying meals daily is critical to ensuring kids are safe and healthy during the summer months,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “Unfortunately, less than half of the students who receive free or discounted lunches during the school year participate in the Summer Meals program. This means that thousands of students are potentially living without access to proper meals while they are out of school. Through the Summer Meals program we are working to end childhood hunger in Philadelphia. In 2013 alone, more than 3.4 million meals were distributed and I know we can provide even more meals this year. There are many safe spaces for young people to receive a free meal in every neighborhood this summer.”
Meal sites are located at a variety of public spaces, including recreation centers, schools, churches and community centers. In addition to these sites, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PP&R) hosts Playstreets, which are designated city blocks closed to traffic that provide free meals and programming to young people throughout Philadelphia.
To find a summer meal location near you, text “MEALPA” to 877877 or call the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger hotline at 1-855-252-MEAL. Individuals and organizations interested in signing up to host summer meals can still register before July 15th by contacting PP&R at 215-685-2719.
“Instilling healthy eating habits in our children at an early age will help them live long, healthy and productive lives,” said Susan Slawson, First Deputy for Recreation and Programs. “We are proud of our healthy eating programs. Providing opportunities for healthy eating is just as important as the numerous recreational and educational programs we provide to the youth.”
The Summer Meals program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture. Meal sites are hosted across the City in partnership with PP&R, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Nutritional Development Services, the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger, Philadelphia Department of Public Health, the Philadelphia Housing Authority and many others.
The Summer Meals Program is coordinated in partnership with Fun Safe Philly Summer, the City’s effort to provide free summer programming and access to free summer meals for young people throughout Philadelphia.
For more information on the Summer Meals Program or available summer programming through Fun Safe Philly Summer, log on to www.funsafephillysummer.com or call 3-1-1.
Fun Safe Philly Summer is an Office of Mayor Michael A. Nutter, city-wide, partnered initiative to provide Philadelphia youth with programming and opportunities to stay active and engaged all summer long. To find, available programming, fun, free activities and a summer meal location near you, log on to www.funsafephillysumer.com or follow Fun Safe Philly Summer on Twitter @PhillySummer.