City revises its plan for Philly kids in need of meals during school shutdown

Daaiyah Boone hands out bagged meals to students at Tilden Middle School during the coronavirus shutdown. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Daaiyah Boone hands out bagged meals to students at Tilden Middle School during the coronavirus shutdown. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Philadelphia officials are revising their plans to distribute meals to children who are out of school during the coronavirus outbreak.

Starting Monday, the city will provide families packages of three breakfasts and three lunches per student at 49 district schools throughout Philadelphia. The meals will be served Monday and Thursday, 9 a.m to 12 p.m.

Meals will also be distributed at select charter schools across the city, including at Mastery, Aspira and Universal sites on varying days.

In addition, six Philadelphia Housing Authority locations will offer breakfast and lunch Monday through Thursday.

And three centers for older adults will also provide pick-up meals for seniors Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The city’s plan at the start of this week was for a network of 50 schools and 30 recreation centers to offer meals to students Monday through Friday.

Officials had also billed recreation centers as places where children could gather during the day, but pushback from unionized recreation center workers worried about their own safety during the outbreak forced the city to quickly pivot, making the rec centers an afternoon meal pickup site instead.

Now, no meals will be offered at rec centers throughout the day.

The city distributed 36,266 meals to students at schools and 6,099 meals at recreation center sites this week through Thursday, according to a city spokesperson.

The full list of schools, public housing and older adult centers where meals will be distributed starting Monday, March 23 is available here.

Correction: Meals will be distributed at district schools Mondays and Thursdays, not Mondays through Thursdays.


WHYY is one of over 20 news organizations producing Broke in Philly, a collaborative reporting project on solutions to poverty and the city’s push towards economic justice. Follow us at @BrokeInPhilly.

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