Hunger is a growing challenge for Philadelphia. Nearly one in four residents is food insecure, and as a result, each week thousands look for a hot meal. As a city, we have struggled for decades to figure out ways to ensure all Philadelphians can have secure access to nutritious foods and vital services in healthy settings. The Philadelphia Food Access Collaborative, which launched officially in December 2012, seeks to build effective, partnership-based solutions to address the challenges of reducing hunger in Philadelphia and to better serve the needs of vulnerable individuals who seek emergency congregant meals by strengthening connections to key social services.
Our vision for this work is to ensure every Philadelphian can find a nutritious meal in an environment that respects their dignity. Philadelphia has a community-driven emergency food network that is data-informed, innovative, coordinated, and effective at improving individual, as well as community, health and well-being. People in need have access to nutritional meals and the resources needed to address compounded underlying concerns.
The work of the Collaborative is focus on three key activities:
- Increasing the number of meals available in a safe and dignified setting until it addresses current need;
- Improving connections to social and health services for meal guests;
- Improving the health and nutrition of meals served.
The Collaborative takes a collective impact approach to addressing these complex issues. CEO serves as a co-backbone organization for this collective impact effort. The overall goal of the work is to build new partnerships to improve the health and stabilize the lives of meal guests, and reduce hunger in Philadelphia.
Some helpful materials:
- Food Access Collaborative Free Meals Flyer – schedule of free meals available in Philadelphia including times, locations and contact information for meal sites.
- Food Access Collaborative Dashboard of Hunger in Philadelphia – data on food access in Philadelphia gathered in part from the Collaborative’s annual surveys of meal providers and meal guests.