PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As his administration defends its soda tax in court, Mayor Jim Kenney toured one of the nine so-called “community schools” funded by the tax.
South Philadelphia High School is one of the nine “community schools” supported by the beverage tax. Kenney got a look at Southern’s programs, which include a clothing closet where students can get free donated clothing. The school’s community school coordinator is Janelle Harper.
“We tried to change it from more of a ‘we’re just giving you something’ to make it more of a shopping experience,” Harper said. “So we actually changed the room around to have full clothing racks, shopping bags.”
The mayor is hoping the community school concept can be widened, if the city wins a court challenge by the beverage industry.
“I think it’s just a great model,” Kenney said, “and if we get through this lawsuit we can expand to 25 schools.”
The mayor washed down his student-made lunch with a Diet Pepsi.
“I buy it,” the mayor said. “I buy it because it supports our programs and I’m happy to pay the tax.”