By David Madden
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — When schools let out for the summer, thousands of children who get free or subsidized meals through in-school breakfast and lunch programs may be going hungry. Not because there’s no food available, but because there’s no place to hand the meals out.
But local activists are working to change that in the five-county Philadelphia area.
The City of Philadelphia offers some help through its parks and recreation department. But the situation in the suburbs is a different story.
Now, with 178,000 kids eligible for the meals, the push is on to locate venues to get those meals served.
Kathy Fisher, family economic security director at Public Citizens for Children and Youth, says sponsors will provide the food and related items. All that’s needed, she says, is the real estate and the will to lend a hand.
“Churches, community groups, camps — many places can offer these meals,” she tells KYW Newsradio. Even private homeowners can participate.
But she admits that it takes some work on the part of the hosting locations.
“The hardest thing, I think, for the churches and community groups is to make sure they can have someone there every day to staff it and have somebody available to receive the meals that are delivered and then distribute them to the kids who come,” she explains.
Fisher says the need is particularly acute in Delaware County, where about one in 16 kids who get the meals during the school term need it to continue in summertime.
Information on the program and how to sign up is available at pccy.org.