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March 29, 2020

Philadelphia to provide free food at various sites across city to residents impacted by coronavirus outbreak

The initiative to provide free food to residents will begin across the city on Monday

Free Food Coronavirus
free food Philadelphia Grace Dickinson/For PhillyVoice

Free food will be made available at various community sites to Philly residents who have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, the city announced.

UPDATE: There will now be 40 sites across the city for Philadelphia residents to pick up free food, starting on Thursday, April 2, officials announced on Wednesday, April 1, during the city's daily briefing on the coronavirus outbreak. The first day of distribution this past Monday saw 4,000 boxes of food handed out.

Free food will be made available at various community sites to Philly residents who have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, the city announced.

The initiative, which will begin on Monday, is a partnership between the city, nonprofits Philabundance and Share Food Program, and 20 community sites where the food will be available for pickup every Monday and Thursday from 10:00 a.m.-Noon. 

Residents are permitted to pick up one box of food per household and will not need to provide an ID or proof of income to receive food. The supplies provided per box can last up to five days and additional food sites are expected to be announced next week, the city said.

“Providing this service to Philadelphians is critical at a time when many so many people find themselves in a difficult situation,” Deputy Mayor Cynthia Figueroa said in a statement. “This partnership is another proud Philly moment, reflecting a committed, caring partnership that is dedicated to making sure our neighbors in every part of the City have access to food during these unprecedented times.”

“Philabundance is proud to partner with the City of Philadelphia and Share Food Program to help feed those in need during this unprecedented health emergency,” said Stacey Behm, who serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Programs Officer at Philabundance, in a statement.

“At Share Food we believe these unprecedented times call for bold and creative solutions to provide food to as many people as possible. We are proud to work with the City and our partners to serve those in need,” said George Matysik, who serves as the Executive Director of Share Food Program, in a statement.

The announcement comes as the city has already been providing free meals at designated sites Monday through Friday to students who are home from school due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in need of food.

There are currently over 80 locations citywide where students can pick up meals, as the city and school district distributed over 222,000 meals to students this week. 

There are 49 district schools that are open from 9 a.m until Noon on Mondays and Thursdays distributing meals to students, as well as six Philadelphia Housing Authority community centers that are open from 9 a.m. until Noon every weekday. 

Several charter schools are providing free meals to city students, but they have varying times and dates of when they are open.

Each child’s family can receive six meals per student, three breakfasts and three lunches, and any child is eligible to receive food at any site. 

To view a full listing of locations across the city, click here.

There are 3,394 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania, the ninth-most of any state, and 38 deaths as a result of the virus as of Sunday afternoon. Of those cases, 1,969 have emerged in Philadelphia and Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia has 865 positive cases and five deaths, Montgomery County has 488 cases and five deaths, Delaware County has 276 cases and four deaths, Bucks County has 203 cases and one death, and Chester County has 137 cases.

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