Summer Food Program Ensures Healthy Meals for Kids

Summer Foods

The PHA Summer Food Service Program, as it has for decades, will offer breakfast and lunch in addition to comprehensive summer youth enrichment activities, and running from now until Friday, August 12th. Shown here, kids enjoying lunch at the John F. Street Community Center, one of 13 sites where the program is offered.

(Philadelphia, PA - June 18, 2019) - 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 at the following sites this year: Abbottsford Homes, Bartram Village, Cambridge/Richard Allen, Fairhill Apartments, Harrison Plaza, Hill Creek, Johnson Homes, Lucien E. Blackwell Community Center, Norris Apartments, Oxford Village, Raymond Rosen, Spring Garden, West Park Apartments, and Wilson Park. 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.

PHA is one of several large sponsors of the program in the City, which provides breakfast and lunch to youth.  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.

PHA sponsors the program with a contribution of its own funds to the program this year. The 2019 Summer Food Service Program total cost is estimated at $432, 830. PHA is expected to underwrite or contribute the balance of $288, 543 towards the program while the amount of reimbursement from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is estimated at $144, 287.
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.

SFSP is a reimbursement-based grant program funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, through Pennsylvania's Department of Education.  The intent of this program is to provide free breakfast, lunch, and/or snacks to children 18-years-old and under. For more information about participating in PHA's Summer Food Service Program, call 215-684-3959.