(Photo: File)

City Kicks off the Start of Summer Meals Programming at Heitzman Recreation Center Over 500 free summer meal sites will open across Philadelphia by Monday, July 1.

PHILADELPHIA. –  The City of Philadelphia’s Office of Children and Families, Parks & Recreation, and American Dairy Association North East kicked off another Philly Summer Meals program season for children and teens at Heitzman Recreation Center. The kick-off event featured an afternoon of resources, activities, music, food, and special appearances.

“No child living in Philadelphia should worry about food or wonder where their next warm meal will come from,” said Mayor Cherelle L. Parker. “The city’s summer meals program helps ease that worry by making nutritious meals available to our young people while school is out of session. I am incredibly proud of the collaboration across community, government, schools, and social services that made this happen, keeping hundreds of meal sites open across the city again this season.”

In partnership with Nutritional Development Services of the Archdiocese, the School District of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Housing Authority, and other local and federal partners, the City will have more than 500 free summer meal sites available to young persons up to age 18. 

“Thousands of Philadelphia students rely on school meals during the year which means that when school is not in session, they risk losing access to nutritious food,” said Vanessa Garrett Harley, Chief Deputy Managing Director for the Office of Children and Families. “The summer meals program is an incredible, community-based effort that ensures our children are food secure until the next school year begins. I am thankful to the City’s partners, local organizations, and volunteers who work together each year to make this possible.”

Residents should know:

  • Most summer meal sites will begin serving meals on Monday, June 17.
  • All children and youth up to age 18 in Philadelphia are eligible. No student ID, proof of citizenship, or registration is required.
  • Meal distribution days and times vary by site. Families should call ahead or visit the site to confirm the schedule at 
  • Meals must be eaten on-site due to USDA regulations. Most summer meals are funded through the USDA’s Summer Food Services Program.

“Children need nutritious food over the summer to fuel their fun and keep them healthy and strong,” said Susan Slawson, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner. “Over 6,000 campers will receive free meals and snacks at Parks & Rec summer day camps, and children all over Philadelphia will get free food through our PlayStreets program. I’m grateful to all the staff and volunteers who keep our children fed and nourished over the summer.” 

“We know that food insecurity is a significant barrier for some of our families, and hunger has a negative impact on many areas of a child’s health, especially learning,” said Superintendent Tony B. Watlington, Sr., Ed.D. “When students are out for summer, they lose that consistent access to nutritious meals. We are thankful to our partners, who collectively support our families and provide them with access to meals at District sites and across the City during summer months when school is not in session. Together, we are not only providing meals but improving students’ health which directly impacts student success.”

“For more than 55 years, USDA has helped address the summer hunger gap by providing meals to groups of kids at schools, parks, libraries, and other community sites. We are thankful for the incredible work of site sponsors to keep this critical service running during the summer. This year, thanks to bi-partisan Congressional action, USDA is thrilled to also offer a new federal program to support students in the summer months, Summer EBT, also called SUN Bucks. This means eligible children across Pennsylvania can still enjoy free summer meals at sponsored sites and their families can also receive $120 per child to purchase groceries over the summer. Providing families with this extra support helps lower costs for families and advance our goals of improving child health and well-being,” said Kumar Chandran, USDA Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services Acting Under Secretary

“Summertime should be a time for parents and caregivers to let out a sigh and begin enjoying the slower pace of summer schedules. Unfortunately, for far too many families, the end of the school causes worry about having enough food dollars to cover the additional meals provided during the school year,” said Jean Falk, Registered Dietician, Nutritional Development Services of the Archdiocese. “Nutritional Development Services is grateful to partner with other sponsors such as the School District of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, and the Philadelphia Housing Authority to assist families with easy access to healthy food at summer meal sites throughout the city.”

“As a dairy farmer, I care deeply about providing high-quality, nutritious dairy products to our community,” said Kacie Hershey, a Dairy Farmer at Ar-Joy Farms in Chester County, Pennsylvania. “So many students rely on student meals, not only during the school year but during summer. This is a great way to connect with students and answer their questions about where their food comes from.”

A full list and finder of student meal sites for summer, pantries, meal sites, and older adult meal sites can be found at Interested families can also text “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 304-304 to receive a text with the 3 closest meal sites.


Por favor ingrese su comentario!
Por favor ingrese su nombre aquí