PHA's Summer Food Program is Lip Smackin Good

    PHILADELPHIA, PA - 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 2006 Summer Food Program begins Monday, June 26th at 27 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 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 from Monday, June 26th through Friday, August 18th. The program will operate Monday -- Friday from 8am to 2pm. 

    "This program ensures that our kids will not begin their day hungry," said Greene. "Eating regularly and learning to eat healthy is important as a kid grows up." 

    The Summer Food Program changed dramatically last summer with a switch to a very appetizing, nutritious hot lunch menu. Pre-cooked meals were delivered by a local catering company and heated at each site. Troy Robinson, PHA Community Relations Asset Manager, says no meal was repeated more than once. 

    The meals were tastier, more nutritious and more popular with the kids. 94 percent of the kids surveyed by the Summer Food staff said they liked the food, and 81 percent said the meals served were better than the previous year.
    "We're anticipating an increase volume of children taking part in the program this year," Robinson says. "We've built a reputation with our new menu!" 

    Robinson said it's fortunate that funding for the Summer Food Program has increased despite federal budget cuts. 

    Last year, PHA's Summer Food Service Program provided over 22,000 children with breakfast and almost 33,000 kids with lunches at all of its sites.
    The program also provides part-time summer employment for about 42 people who serve food and fill out the paperwork.
    People who want more information about participating in the program can contact PHA at (215) 684-1164.

    PHA's 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. 

Click here to view the Summer Food Program Schedule & Locations