Tour of Angels’ Place to Highlight Food Insecurity and Work to increase Farm to Early Care Food Programs.
PFPC Joined PA Secretary of Education Rivera On Tour of Angels’ Place to Highlight Food Insecurity and Work to increase Farm to Early Care Food Programs.
On June 13th, Pittsburgh Food Policy Council’s Dawn Plummer and Sarah Buranskas joined a delegation from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and Agriculture on a visit to Angel’s Place, a local Swissvale-based early care center, to take a look at their innovative food, nutrition, summer meals and garden programming. PA Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera and the delegation were greeted by children singing songs about fruits and veggies, visited the vegetable garden, and sampled the fruits provided by the Kretschmann Family Organic Farm in Butler County.
Angel’s Place Executive Director Beth Banas also lifted up partnerships with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank as well as 412 Food Rescue. Just up over the hill from Grow Pittsburgh’s Braddock Farm, PFPC is excited to help link Angel’s Place with surrounding urban farms.
Children lunch on tacos with veggies from Kretchman Family Farm
Angels’ Place serves the children of single-parent families in Pittsburgh. As part of their self-sufficiency model, Angels’ Place centers each feature gardens, which families can tend to from seed to harvest. Classroom curriculum, planting activities, and fresh food support children’s exposure to nutritious meals. Angels’ Place is sponsored by the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) that is federally funded and administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). Angel’s Place underscores the potential impact of early care centers as places for nutritional intervention among vulnerable populations, as well as potential partners and supporters of our regional food economy.
In addition to CACFP, the Department recently announced sites where children can get free nutritious meals through the 2018 Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) funds the program, which PDE administers it. Last year, Pennsylvania children received more than five million meals from approximately 2,600 food program sites, with $14 million in USDA support.
Many students who receive free or reduced cost meals during the school year through the School Breakfast and National School Lunch programs, lack access to healthy and nutritious food during the summer months and are at risk of hunger. Limited access to nutritious food during the summer can have an impact on learning all year long and can make students more susceptible to illness and other health issues.
To combat food insecurity, the Wolf Administration recently awarded $900,000 in grants for more than 200 schools across the commonwealth to implement or expand alternative breakfast programs, and to make breakfast available to all students. Currently, over 3,000 Pennsylvania schools report that they offer breakfast, but fewer than half of those schools offer alternative serving methods.
Additionally, in 2016, as part of Governor Wolf’s food security plan, “Setting the Table: A Blueprint for a Hunger-free PA” [hyperlink], the Administration set a goal of ensuring that 60 percent of students who benefit from free and reduced price school meals also participate in school breakfast by 2020.
There are several ways to locate a participating summer meal site:
Call the "211" phone number for the National call center.
Call "1.866.3Hungry" or "1.877.8Hambre" to find the place and time of free meals.
Log onto https://www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks for locations and times where free meals are to be served.
Text "FOOD" to “877877” to find out the nearest SFSP site near your location.
Log onto http://www.rangeapp.org/ that is an app used to locate places and times where free meals are served.For additional information on the Summer Food Service Program, visit PDE's website at www.education.pa.gov/sfsp or call 800-331-0129