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March 14, 2020

Philadelphia announces student meal sites, rec centers, Free Library closures

The Department of Public Health announced one new case of coronavirus – a woman in her 30s – increasing the citywide total to four

Coronavirus Government
student meal distribution sites Kate Frese/for Philly Voice

The City of Philadelphia shared a public health update Saturday in a daily coronavirus update with government officials. There are now four confirmed cases of coronavirus in the city, the libraries will close, and students will have access to free meals during the days of school closures.

UPDATE: Philadelphia residents can now also get boxes of free food at various locations throughout the city. Information and locations for food pickup can be found here.

Philadelphia officials announced designated meal sites for students home from school due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the closure of all Free Library locations Saturday's daily coronavirus briefing.

School District of Philadelphia superintendent William R. Hite spoke at the briefing and announced that schools across the district will provide meals Monday through Friday for kids that need food. 

The official list of sites follows a morning when misinformation circulated on social media about where these meals would be available, a problem which Hite addressed.

"Please consider your sites when sharing information," Hite said at Saturday's briefing while providing the officials of school meal sites.

The locations were posted on the school district website. On March 20, the list of meal sites, the hours open for distribution, and the number of meals allowed per family were changed. 

The new list of 80 meal sites was changed, although some of the locations remain the same. Families will now be allowed six meals a week per student: three meals for breakfast and three for lunch. The sites will be open from 9 a.m. to noon only, and all children and youth are eligible, no form of self identification is required. The changes can be found here, and take effect March 23.

The following is a table showing the updated meal site locations. 

School Address
Baldi Middle School8801 Verree Road 
Barton School4600 Rosehill Street
John Barry Elementary School 5900 Race Street
Mary McLeod Bethune School 3301 Old York Road
John Bartram High School 2401 S. 67th Street
Jay Cooke Elementary School 1300 W. Louden Street
William Cramp School  3449 N. Mascher Street 
A.L. Fitzpatrick School 11061 Knights Road
Benjamin Franklin School  5737 Rising Sun Avenue 
 CAPA (Philadelphia H.S. For Creative and Performing Arts) 901 S. Broad Street
Andrew Hamilton School 5640 Spruce Street
William H. Hunter School 2400 N. Front Street
John B. Kelly School 5116 Pulaski Street
Martin Luther King High School 6100 Stenton Avenue
Benjamin B. Comegys School 5100 Greenway Avenue
William H. Loesche School 595 Tomlinson Road
Russell Conwell Middle School1849 E. Clearfield Street
J. De Burgos Elementary School 401 W. Lehigh Avenue 
Mayfair School 3001 Princeton Avenue
Stephen Decatur School3500 Academy Road
Tanner Duckrey School1501 W. Diamond Street
Thomas A. Edison High School151 W. Luzerne Street
Roxborough High School 6498 Ridge Avenue
Samual Fels High School 5500 Langdon Street
Thomas K. Finletter School 6100 N. Front Street
Frankford High School5000 Oxford Avenue
Franklin Learning Center616 N. 15th Street
Horace Furness High School1900 S. 3rd Street
Horatio B. Hackett School2161 E. York Street
John H. Webster School 3400 Frankford Avenue
Warren G. Harding Middle School 2000 Wakeling Street 
Juniata Park Academy  801 E. Hunting Park Avenue  
Kensington CAPA 1901 N. Front Street 
 Henry W. Lawton School 6101 Jackson Street 
 Abraham Lincoln High School3201 Ryan Avenue 
 Thurgood Marshall School 5120 N. 6th Street 
Hon Luis Muñoz Marín School3300 N. 3rd Street 
 Northeast High School1601 Cottman Avenue 
 One Bright Ray Mansion3133 Ridge Avenue 
 Overbrook Educational Center6722 Lansdowne Avenue 
 Philadelphia Learning Academy-South4300 Westminister Avenue 
 Rhodes Elementary School  2900 W. Clearfield Street
 Roosevelt Elementary School 430 E. Washington Lane  
 William L. Sayre High School 5800 Walnut Street 
 South Philadelphia High School 2101 S. Broad Street 
Gen. Louis Wagner Middle School 1701 Chelten Avenue 
 Grover Jr. Washingotn Middle School201 E. Olney Avenue  
 West Philadelphia High School4901 Chesnut Street 
 William H. Ziegler School5935 Saul Street 

The following charter schools will also be open on varying days from 9 a.m. to noon. Those interested should contact the schools to find out when they are open. 

School Address 
 Aspira Charter- Stetson 3200 B. Street 
 Aspira Olney Charter High  100 W. Duncannon Avenue  
 Lindley Academy Charter - Birney 900 Lindley Avenue 
 Mariana Bracetti Academy1840 Torresdale Avenue 
 Mastery Charter - Cleveland3701 N. 19th Street 
 Mastery Charter - Clymer1201 W. Rush Street 
 Mastery Charter - Gratz High 1798 W. Hunting Park Avenue  
 Mastery Charter - Harrity5601 Christian Street 
 Mastery Charter - Lenfest Campus 35 S. 4th Street 
 Mastery Charter - Mann5376 W. Berks Street 
 Mastery Charter - Pastorius  5650 Sprague Street
 Mastery Charter - Pickett5700 Wayne Avenue 
Mastery Charter - Smedley 1790 Bridge Street 
 Mastery Charter - Thomas Campus 927 Johnston Street 
 Mastery Charter - Wister67 E. Bringhurst Street 
 Mastery Prep Elementary Charter1801 W. Pike Street 
 Philadelphia Montessori Charter 2227 Island Avenue 
 Richard Allen Prep 2601 S. 58th Street 
 Universal Audenried Charter3301 Tasker Street 
 Universal Charter - Bluford5720 Media Street 
 Universal Charter - Daroff5630 Vine Street 
 Universal Creighton Charter5401 Tabor Avenue 
Universal Vare Charter 2100 S. 24th Street 

All recreation centers also ceased to distribute meals, as all Parks and Recreation centers, playgrounds, and basketball courts in the city are closed until further notice. More information on closed locations is availible here.

Instead, six community centers run by the Philadelphia Housing Authority will be open for "grab and go" meal distribution during breakfast and lunch, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon beginning March 23. 

 PHA Community CenterAddress 
Abbottsford Homes   3226 McMichael Street   
 Bartram Village 5404 Gibson Drive 
 John F. Street Center1100 Poplar Street 
 Raymond Rosen Homes2301 W. Edgley Street 
 Westpark Apartments300 N. Busti Street 
 Wilson Park2500 Jackson Street 

Next in the press briefing, Dr. Tom Farley, the Philadelphia health commissioner, announced that the number of COVID-19 patients in Philadelphia has increased by one from Friday, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in Philadelphia to four. The new patient is a woman in her 30s, who is staying at home. 

Farley also said that there continues to be a lack of tests in Philadelphia, which is part of larger national issue. Of the national issue, Farley said "That is real and it is effecting our ability to test people in Philadelphia. We know we are not testing enough people." 

Also on Saturday, the Free Library of Philadelphia announced it would be closing all of its branches at the end of the day Saturday. Library staff will report to work on Monday.

In a letter posted to the Free Library's website, president Siobhan A Reardon, said the public libraries would remain closed through March 29, at least.

"If you have physical library materials checked out, don't worry: all loan periods and holds will be extended until we reopen," Reardon said. "We will also be fully refunding any paid tickets for Free Library and Rosenbach events previously scheduled to occur during this period."

In the meantime, Philadelphia residents were redirected to the Free Library's digital collections and databases and reminded that library card holders have access to the digital edition of the New York Times.

Mayor Jim Kenney's repeated the message he has maintained throughout the coronavirus crisis, urging Philadelphia residents to remain calm and support the economy and those in the service industry which are both suffering now. 

"Stay calm and move forward. At some point in time this will end," Kenney said. "Go out to dinner and tip your waiter."

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