As the number of positive COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Philadelphia, so does the city’s outreach efforts.
Over the past three weeks, more than 55,000 free boxes of food have been distributed to those in need, according to the City of Philadelphia. The meals are free and available to any Philadelphia resident who is in need due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused schools to close, unemployment rates to rise and many local families scrambling to put food on the table.
There are currently 40 city-supported food sites that are open Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon and provide one box of food per household. On Mondays, boxes contain non-perishable food and on Thursdays, fresh produce. Residents do not need to show any proof of income to be eligible.
In addition, the City of Philadelphia is operating more than 80 student meal sites. Any child can receive food and no identification is required. There are currently 49 School District schools open on Mondays and Thursdays to distribute meals from 9 a.m. to noon—families will receive 4 breakfasts and 4 lunches per student. Several charter schools are also providing food for students, as well as some community centers and Parks and Recreation sites.
For a complete list of Philadelphia food sites and student meal sites, visit the City of Philadelphia website.
The city is also providing grab-and-go meals for local seniors, which are available on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at three senior centers: Northeast Older Adult Center (8101 Bustleton Ave.), Mann Older Adult Center (3201 N. 5th St.), and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Center (2101-35 Cecil B. Moore Ave.). Those in need can call the Philadelphia Corporation For Aging helpline at 215-765-9040 for information.
Services like these provide a lifeline to Philadelphians in need and are made possible through organizations like the Share Food Program and Philabundance and local volunteers. Those who want to help can support outreach efforts from Philabundance, Share Food Program or volunteer to help pack and prepare food boxes to be distributed throughout Philadelphia.