Encourages Philadelphia youth to participate in free summer meals and the Summer Reading Challenge
Philadelphia, August 1, 2014– Mayor Michael A. Nutter participated in a tour of free summer meals sites in the Kensington community as part of the 2014 Fun Safe Philly Summer campaign, an initiative that connects youth and their families to free and low-cost summer programming and promotes access to free summer meals. During the portion of the tour at McPherson Square Library, Mayor Nutter promoted the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Summer Reading: 30-Million-Minute Challenge encouraging kids, teens and adults to continue reading throughout the summer.
“Fun Safe Philly Summer collaborates with partners across Philadelphia to ensure that young people have a meaningful summer, filled with access to free and low-cost programming and free meals funded by the United States Department of Agriculture,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “As we begin August, it is critical that our young people continue to eat nutritious meals and keep their minds and bodies healthy so that when they return to a structured learning environment they are ready to excel.
To start the tour, Mayor Nutter visited a Playstreet located on the 700 block of E. Willard Street. Playstreets are Philadelphia Parks & Recreation sponsored meal sites where tertiary streets are closed to traffic during the day for children to receive free meals and a safe space to play. There are more than 500 Playstreets throughout the city.
Mayor Nutter also visited McPherson Square Library because it hosts summer meals and summer reading for youth. The Summer Reading: 30-Million-Minute Challenge, hosted by the Free Library, provides kids, teens and adults with incentives and prizes for participating in summer reading. By signing up for a library card and checking-out books, participants are entered into a drawing for prizes. Upcoming prize drawings will be on August 6, August 13, August 20, August 27 and September 3.
“The Free Library of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation offer children fun physical, social and educational opportunities,” said Michael DiBerardinis, Deputy Mayor of Environmental and Community Resources. “Through Fun Safe Philly Summer, we are able to expose youth in Kensington to enjoyable, enriching experiences, creating opportunities for them to learn, connect and share in safe spaces.”
Siobhan A. Reardon, Free Library President and Director, added, “Maintaining good reading habits over the summer months helps you grow stronger as a reader—and it’s also a lot of fun. The Free Library’s 30-Million-Minute Challenge is a big goal, but I am confident that Philadelphians of all ages will not only meet but exceed it. With Mayor Nutter and Deputy Mayor DiBerardinis’s help at McPherson Square Library today, we’re 75% of the way there!”
Youth and parents can text “MEALPA” to 877877 or call 1-855-252-MEAL to find locations for free summer meals in their community.
In addition, Fun Safe Philly Summer will host two remaining “Pop Up” events in partnership with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, the Philadelphia Soul and other partners. The two remaining 2014 Fun Safe Philly Summer “Pop Up” events will be hosted from 5-8pm. Upcoming dates and locations are:
- Wednesday, August 6th – Ice Skating at Scanlon Ice Rink, 1099 E. Tioga Street; and
- Wednesday, August 13th – Pump & Jump at the Pumptrack, 53rd and Parkside Avenue.
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 towww.funsafephillysumer.com or follow FSPS on Twitter @PhillySummer.