Nutritional Development Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (NDS) is seeking community partners to participate in its Summer Meals Program. This program ensures that children and youth aged 18 years or younger throughout the five-county area have access to wholesome, nourishing meals at no cost when school is out of session.
NDS’ Summer Meals program can operate in various settings including schools, community centers, playgrounds, camps, parks, and churches. In addition, non-traditional settings can include WIC offices, libraries, apartment buildings, townhouse community rooms, Family Service Centers, and more.
Ms. Lizanne F. Hagedorn, Executive Director of NDS said, “Throughout the school year, many students have access to nutritious meals through federal meal programs. However, in the summer months many children risk being hungry when schools are closed. The Summer Meals Program is critical to filling that gap to ensure that children thrive when school is out of session. NDS is grateful for the opportunity to partner with organizations and community leaders to provide meals that contribute to the health and well-being of children in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties.”
A healthy diet that includes fresh fruit and vegetables may reduce the risk of chronic health problems including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, digestive problems, diabetes, and cancer. Introducing a healthy diet in early childhood can significantly improve a child’s health, ability to learn and grow.
In 2019, NDS’ Summer Meals Program served 370 sites throughout the greater Philadelphia area and provided over 680,000 meals to children.
All meals are delivered daily “ready to eat” and no preparation is required. Summer Meals sites provide lunch and the choice of a breakfast or snack. Meals include whole grains, low-fat milk, protein-rich foods, and a variety of fruits and vegetables. In addition, all meals follow federal guidelines for nutrition, and lunches provide children with 1/3 of their daily nutritional requirements.
The Summer Meals Program is federally funded and operated nationally by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In our region, it is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
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Editor’s Note: To sign up for the Summer Meals Program or for more information on NDS, please call the Summer Meals Hotline at 215-895-3470 option 1.
For forty-six years, NDS’ mission has been to serve children and those in need with healthy food. NDS accomplishes its mission in two distinct ways: by administering the federally-funded child nutrition programs and through the privately supported Community Food Program. For more information about NDS, please visit http://nutritionaldevelopmentservices.org/. NDS is an equal opportunity service provider.Contact:
Courtney N. Flach
Media and Events Specialist