Hunger and homelessness go hand in hand. At the Office of Homeless Services, our Food Services Unit is dedicated to getting people experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity access to healthy foods and meals.
Throughout the pandemic, the Food Services team worked together with our provider network to plant seeds of promise that positively impact our community. For example, the network provided 2,470,470 nutritious meals directly to Philadelphians in city-funded shelter last year.
But that’s not all! The Food Services team also helps manage city-wide efforts to address food insecurity. They coordinate free meals sites for people who are unsheltered. And they support community partnerships like Step Up to the Plate Philly.
Our Food Services experts also know that sometimes food tastes better when people grow it on their own. Gardening improves one’s health and well-being and provides a sense of accomplishment. That’s why we use gardens to engage residents and children residing in city-funded programs and shelter.
We’d like to extend our mission and love of gardening to our neighbors citywide. Whether you’re a child, caregiver, school administrator, organization, or just someone who cares, here are several ways for you to dig into gardening and get involved!
#MadeinPA: Check out Pennsylvania Harvest of the Month
Penn State University’s Project PA and the Pennsylvania Department of Education lead PA Harvest of the Month. The program provides schools, care centers, and feeding sites with local, healthy products. This supports Pennsylvania farmers and producers.
April’s featured harvest is leafy greens! Download nutritious and tasty recipes to host a taste test. We also encourage you to take photos of your Harvest of the Month activities and post them on social media. Don’t forget to use hashtags #MadeinPA and #PAHarvestoftheMonth.
Build Something Special: Plant a Garden
There is nothing like hands-on experience. Involving children in the creation and success of a garden is beneficial. It gives them a sense of agency and helps them to develop healthy habits lasting into adulthood. And, getting dirty can be fun!
If you’re interested in planting a school garden, this Garden Guide is for you. Learn what you need to get started, how to plant, and maintenance best practices.
Get Dirty: Plant a Tree
Spruce up your yard with a free tree from TreePhilly, a program from Parks and Recreation.
Yard trees can help everyone’s health and wellbeing. They improve the surrounding air quality which keeps our lungs healthy. They also add tranquility to a space and beautify the neighborhood.
The Spring 2021 Yard Tree giveaway is now underway. Register online for a drive-through pick-up events or delivery.
Use your Voice: Provide Feedback to Growing from the Root
We’re thrilled to share that Growing from the Root is back. This comprehensive plan is Philadelphia’s first-ever urban agriculture strategy. It supports farming and gardening in low-income and underserved communities.
It turns feedback and work from residents, gardeners, and educators into farming and gardening projects in low-income and underserved communities.
Participate online by May 15, 2021. Your thoughts and inspiration will help shape future resources, policies, and programs.
Stay Connected: Join Rise Against Hunger Mailing List
Sign up for Rise Against Hunger! The newsletter features the latest events and opportunities that support Philadelphia’s anti-hunger efforts. This includes increasing food access, creating an equitable food system, and promoting nutrition.