PHA Has Food for Thought & Nourishment - Summer Food Service Program Begins

PHILADELPHIA, PA (May 18, 2005) - The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) will help needy young people and make their summer vacation more enjoyable and rewarding providing free food and career training for the future. The 2005 Summer Food Program begins Monday, June 27th at 28 PHA sites across the city. A partnership between PHA, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), makes the program possible. PHA Executive Director Carl R. Greene said the program will provide young PHA residents with hands-on food service training and a solid understanding of nutrition.

Under the Summer Food Program, all eligible children ages 18 and under are able to receive free breakfast and lunch beginning Monday, June 27th through Friday, August 19th. The program will operate Monday -- Friday from 8am to 2pm. "This program fills important needs for Philadelphias young people," said Greene. "It ensures that our kids will not begin their day hungry. Were also providing an environment for sound and effective learning that will benefit young people by opening the door to new careers." The 2005 Summer Food Service Program will provide nutritious meals at 28 PHA sites throughout Philadelphia. Participants do not have to be PHA residents to take part in the program, but children who are members of households receiving food stamps or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits are automatically eligible to receive free meal benefits at program sites.

"This is PHAs way of serving the community by serving residents of surrounding neighborhoods," said Troy Robinson, manager of the Summer Food Program. "Its our goal to improve the quality of life in the surrounding neighborhoods. We know that many children who take part in the program do not receive a quality, healthy nutritious meal at home. Were taking care of peoples basic needs." Robinson said its fortunate that funding for the Summer Food Program has increased despite federal budget cuts.

The program also provides part-time summer employment for about 42 people who serve the food and fill out the paperwork. Robinson said the program has its own challenges as it teaches kids how to eat properly. "Some enjoy it," he said. "Some were still educating because they still lean toward sweet meals. For the most part though, they enjoy receiving a good meal thats close to home." Last year, PHAs Summer Food Service Program provided an average weekly total of 14,000 breakfasts and 22,000 lunches at all of its sites. Summer Food Program officials expect more participants this year due to the economic downturn and the return of many residents to rebuilt housing sites.

People who want more information about participating in the program can contact PHA at (215) 684-1164 or (215) 684-3722. PHAs policy is that all eligible children have equal access to the benefits of the Summer Food Service Program, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or handicap. Any person who believes that he or she has been discriminated against in any United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) activity should contact the Secretary of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250.

About PHA
PHA is transforming public housing in the city of Philadelphia. As the nations fourth largest public housing agency serving more than 76,000 residents, PHA is the first housing authority in the U. S. designated by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) of the National Association of Realtors as an "Accredited Management Organization." This designation is awarded to firms engaged in property management that have met IREMs high standards in the areas of education, experience, integrity and financial stability.

Click here to view the Summer Food Program Schedule & Locations