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Nearly 1 in 3 Philadelphia residents are food insecure, and over 1 in 4 individuals are below the federal poverty line. The Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity (CEO), as part of the work of the Philadelphia Food Access Collaborative, is focused on expanding emergency meals. Through a grant from the Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia, CEO will launch the Philadelphia Meals and More initiative, which will create five $5,000 incentive grants to emergency meal providers to fund the expansion of their weekly meal service to serve an additional 100 people, addressing 25% of the meals gap in Center City and West Philadelphia.
The meals expansion initiative will also be supported by efforts through the Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Services to recruit and train volunteers to provide meals and connections to vital services. The program empowers citizens to combat hunger and other issues of poverty head on. This effort will recruit, train and support 150-200 volunteers to complete 50 hours of service providing healthy emergency meals to vulnerable residents as well as connecting them to vital services. The initiative will significantly reduce the gap in available meals versus need in Center City and West Philadelphia, improve the physical health of emergency meal guests, and better address their holistic needs by creating a pathway to greater personal autonomy.
This is effort is part of the advancement of the citywide anti-poverty plan, Shared Prosperity Philadelphia. One of its key goals is to increase access to benefits and essential services, including emergency food.
We host 5 meal sites and are in need of volunteers to assist these sites to increase the number of meals served in Philadelphia in a dignified manner.
- Courtney Anders
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