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Serving families in low-income neighborhoods in Philadelphia, one of the poorest and hungriest cities in the country, Sunday Suppers is a unique organization focused on strengthening the health and well-being of families through the transformative power of family meals. Central to our values is the belief that family interaction and participation create the opportunity to make positive behavioral changes and build sustainable community.
The organization’s five-month program centers around a weekly family meal made of fresh, local, healthy food with ingredients that are familiar, affordable, and accessible.. Each week, participants learn a new cooking technique and are then served the meal they helped prepare. At the end of the meal, each family is given a to-go bag, with the ingredients and recipes for that day’s supper, to take home and make on their own.
Families in the program report a renewed sense of communication and cohesiveness within their own families, while being part of a larger, supportive community, in addition to healthier cooking and eating behaviors.
In addition to the weekly meal, Sunday Suppers offers supportive programs for participants ranging from volunteer opportunities, to hands-on cooking classes, to exercise classes, to community gardening. There are also special alumni and peer leadership programs to continue participants’ development, help them find employment, connect with other community members, remain engaged with the program and more.
Sunday Suppers is currently serving families in the Kensington neighborhood on Wednesday nights at the Memphis Street Academy. And on Tuesday nights, the program operates at the First Presbyterian Church of Germantown, in collaboration with Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network, the Church, and the Germantown Avenue Crisis Ministry.