PHILADELPHIA - A social service agency, with the help of community members is continuing to provide free meals for children this summer.
Nutritional Development Services is the main sponsor for a food program that distributes free meals for children at various sites throughout Philadelphia and nearby counties.
“We work with close to 400 sites and it’s available each summer. The program that we offer is a federally funded program that services Philadelphia and the surrounding counties. All the sites serve lunch with an option of breakfast or a snack,” said Brooke Mullen, Assistant Director of Community Relations.
While there may be a process for most federally funded programs, Mullen noted that there is no process for children to have access to the free meals.
“This is open to any child under 18, there is no process. If the site is operating, any child can go there and receive a meal.”
Families can visit any site within their county if the food program is operating. If there isn’t a site in your area or if the site is no longer distributing food, you can still visit any of the sites as long as it’s within your county.
“Even if they live in certain zip codes, they can go to any site as long as it is operating. The programs operate on different schedules and it can operate as little as a week or as long as 11 weeks,” said Mullen.
Mullen who has been with the organization for almost 3 years says the summer program gives them an opportunity to help children in need.
“The summer program is a great opportunity to meet the needs of children in our area when school is out of session. It’s a wonderful opportunity to partner with community leaders to provide service to families and contribute to the well-being of children in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties.”
The program currently services several sites in the East Falls, Manayunk, and Roxborough area. Free meals will be available at the following locations: The North Light Community Center, Camp Acaraho at Holy Family, Roxborough YMCA, Northern Home Children & Family Services, Gailee Baptist Church, and Guilding Stars.
The program will continue until Aug. 23, but every site may not operate until then.
For anyone that wants to check to see if there is a site in their area, they can text “ Food” to 877877, or visit the http://nutritionaldevelopmentservices.org for more information.