According to Feeding America, 1 in 7 people in the U.S. are food insecure, yet right here in the area, it is close to double that rate. An alarming 1 in 4 people in Philadelphia are hungry. Summer is the hungriest time of year for hundreds of thousands of kids who no longer receive their school meals (both breakfast and lunch). To help fill this meal gap for kids and their families, we have found a number of local resources available for those in need of food assistance in the Philadelphia area—which can be found below.
Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger
Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger, strives to build a community where people all people have the food they need to lead healthy lives. With no income requirements, ID, or registration necessary (in qualifying areas), there are more than 1,400 Philadelphia locations that serve free meals to kids 18 and under this summer:
- Call the summer meals toll-free hotline at 1-855-252- MEAL (6325)
- Text “FOOD” to 877877
- Visit the Summer Meals Map at www.phillysummermeals.org.
Philabundance, the largest hunger relief organization in the Delaware Valley is offering these direct service distribution programs throughout the summer including:
- The KidsBites LunchBox program will provide free and nutritious meals for kids under the age of 18. It is available weekly at eight locations in PA and NJ through August 26.
- The KidsBites initiative at Lowell Elementary School in Olney will continue throughout the summer from 10:30-11:30 AM on the first and third Thursdays of the month in July and August for Lowell students and their families.
- Fresh For All (FFA) offers free and fresh produce at the same eight locations, days and times each week. Distribution happens year-round for registered individuals, which takes place on-site, with all paperwork being self-declared.
SHARE Food Program
SHARE Food Program, serves a regional network of community organizations engaged in food distribution, education, and advocacy.
- SHARE distributes food from a network of over 100 partner agencies. Find a nearby Philadelphia host site here.
MANNA in Philadelphia cooks and delivers nutritious, medically-appropriate meals and provides nutrition counseling to neighbors who are battling life-threatening illnesses.
- For Philadelphia clients who have dependents under the age of 18 and need assistance with meals for them as well, MANNA sends meals for those children. To learn more if one would qualify for the program, please call 215-496-2662 or visit the website.
MANNA on Main Street
MANNA on Main Street in Lansdale, PA includes its soup kitchen and food pantry, as well as year-long programs:
- Grab and Go Summer Meals Program (a USDA initiative) in Lansdale is happening June 20 until August 19 for children ages 1-18, sponsored by the North Penn School District.
- Children can also find free meals at the following schools: Hatfield Community Park, Oak Park Elementary School, Knapp Elementary School, and York Avenue Elementary School.
- Free meals are distributed to children during afternoon pantry sessions on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 1:00 – 3:45 PM at 713 W. Main Street Lansdale, PA 19446.
- The food pantry is open Monday – Friday at varying times and is operated as a choice model pantry, which is similar to shopping at a grocery store. During the summer months, clients with school-aged children are able to shop a third time during the month in the pantry (instead of twice a month).
- The soup kitchen is open 7 days a week, serving meals twice Monday – Saturday and once on Sunday. All meals are served restaurant style.
Additional Food Resources:
- USDA’s National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3-HUNGRY
- Visit WhyHunger to find food in your area at http://whyhunger.org/find-food
- Philly Food Finder, a guide to food assistance in Philadelphia: http://www.phillyfoodfinder.org/
If you are interested in giving back to the community and making a difference, all of the above non-profit organizations have volunteer shifts and accept monetary donations to serve those in their local communities each day.
Have you used or volunteered at a food resource in the Philadelphia area in the past that you have found particularly successful? Let us know in the comments section to help spread the word!