Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pennsylvania Launches Summer Food Online Locator

Supper set-upFrom our friends at FRAC.  
According to research (pdf) done by the University of Pennsylvania, and headed by Emma Ellman-Golan, a Penn Senior and Fox program fellow working at the Brookings Institution, half of Philadelphia’s eligible children participate in the Summer Food Service Program – three times the national rate, twice Pennsylvania’s rate, and better than the rates of most other big cities.

However, tens of thousands of Philadelphia’s children still face hunger in the summer, and according to a report from the Food Research and Action Center, child nutrition suffers when school is out. In order to make more families and children aware of the availability of free summer meals, the university developed a website – pasummermeals.com – that displays up to 25 summer food sites for children closest to a user’s address, along with operating hours and meal types. Summer sites must be kept open throughout the summer, notes Golan. Most of Philadelphia’s 1300 summer meal sites close in late July or early August. “For all the federal rules and regulations,” writes Golan, “no real consequences follow when summer participation rates in the state drop into single digits (as they did in more than a dozen states last summer).”