PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia Housing Authority began its summer meals program this week.
There are grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches at 13 sites, including John F. Street Community Center in North Philadelphia.
Youth from ages 3 to 18 from the Philadelphia Housing Authority's sites and surrounding neighborhoods can get the meals for free.
"This is one less thing that families need to worry about during this time," according to Makeeda Holley, Vice President of Resident Programs and Partnerships for PHA. "We just started Monday with a summer food program. This is actually coming off 11 weeks of food services we provided in response to the pandemic."
An estimated 25,000 meals will be distributed over the coming weeks.
"Families communicated that this was a need. Over the past 11 weeks we saw a continued uptick and increased need. Kids kept coming. Families kept coming," Holley explained.
Families who don't live near a participating PHA site can still go to a neighboring location or one of 150 sites operated by the City's Department of Parks and Recreation, which will offer similar meals.
The program runs Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. until August 14th.
The following sites will have the program: Abbottsford Homes, Bartram Village, Cambridge/Richard Allen, Fairhill Apartments, Harrison Plaza, Johnson Homes, Lucien E. Blackwell Community Center, Norris Apartments, Oxford Village, Raymond Rosen, Spring Garden, West Park Apartments, and Wilson Park.
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 find the for the site nearest to them 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.
Philadelphia Housing Authority's summer meals program underway