Dear Friends,

This week Juneteenth was established as a Federal Holiday. Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. This was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation which became official on January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance. Please note that the Coalition is closed today in recognition of Juneteenth tomorrow, Saturday, June 19.

Outreach

Summer Meals are Coming!

This summer, kids and teens 18 and under can once again access free meals at many sites throughout the five-county region with no ID, registration, or proof of income required! To help families find a site in their area, we are once again hosting our Summer Meals Map at www.phillysummermeals.org

This summer many sites are handing out meal packs that include breakfast and lunch for multiple days. Please look at the pick-up day and time to see when you can get these meals. If no pick-up day is listed, you can visit the site on any of the days that meals are provided at the time listed. Sites and schedules change weekly throughout the summer, so be sure to check the map often to confirm the site hours and end date. We will be updating the map each Monday by the end of the day!

Policy and Advocacy

As Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) payments for the 2020-2021 school year begin to go out, we know there are still a lot of questions surrounding this benefit. (Reminder, P-EBT is the benefit going out to students who have missed out on free and reduced-price school meals due to school closures.) To help provide an accurate overview, we have updated our “Top 10 Things You Need to Know About P-EBT” flyer in English and Spanish.

As the payments go out to families, there have been some changes and delays to what was previously expected. Here are some key updates:

  • Last year, for most students living in a household that received SNAP, P-EBT benefits were loaded to the SNAP EBT card. This year, that process was followed for far fewer students. Most students, even if their family receives SNAP, are being mailed a P-EBT card.
  • Unfortunately, the time frame for mailing cards has been extended. P-EBT cards are being mailed out to families on a rolling basis throughout the entire month of June. Please do not worry if your card has not arrived yet, it is likely on its way!
  • While the first P-EBT payment for children ages 0-5 was anticipated to be issued June 4-5, there was a slight delay. Those benefits (covering Oct. and Nov.) have now been issued. The second payment will be issued in early July.

We also want to note and provide clarification on two things that many people have found confusing:

  • Families received a letter about P-EBT from DHS, but that letter did not include the actual P-EBT card. That is correct! DHS does not mail the actual card. It will arrive separately.
  • The DHS letter families received states, “P-EBT benefits for Stage 2 will begin to be issued on June 7, 2021.” This is true, but has many people worried when they have not even gotten their card yet! What this means is that by the time your P-EBT card arrives in the mail, it is likely that payments 1 and 2 will already be on the card. Those benefits will be available once you activate the card.

Lastly, since we know many people are now getting their cards in the mail, we have created a video that explains: How to activate and use your P-EBT card. The video is also available in Spanish by clicking HERE. (Many thanks for the Spanish translations go to our terrific Fox Fellows, Dangela and Luke, who are working with us this summer)!

Now, moving on from a children’s benefit to a resource available for older adults: The Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) is getting underway! The annual program provides low-income older adults with fresh, nutritious fruit and vegetables locally grown by approved Pennsylvania farmers. Eligible seniors can receive vouchers valued at $24 for individuals or $48 for couples. Click here for more information on eligibility.

In Philadelphia, PCA will be mailing applications to seniors who received vouchers in summer 2020. For seniors who did not receive a voucher last year, they can contact PCA's Helpline at 215-765-9000.

For those in surrounding counties, please contact your Senior FMNP agency listed below:

  • Bucks Area Agency on Aging: 267-880-5700 or 215-880-5737
  • Chester County Department of Aging Services:610-344-6350
  • Delaware County Senior Community Services–Chester Sr. Center: 610-497-3550
  • Montgomery County – Share, Montco. Hunger Solutions: 610-628-2000

Food Pantry & Soup Kitchens

The Coalition Against Hunger is excited to partner with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) once again for their Harvest initiative, a collective action initiative focused on increasing food production and food security by mobilizing individual gardeners, community garden members, and schools and institutions to plant food crops to share with their community. This growing season, Harvest aims to again engage thousands of people in the Greater Philadelphia region to help grow fresh produce and to share with those most in need.

With this initiative, gardeners are invited to grow (grow food for themselves and their family or community); to share (one who grows and commits to share food with a selected list of food relief organizations); or to donate (someone who supports Harvest efforts through a monetary donation). Community gardens, gardening groups, institutions, and schools are also welcome to participate. This year, anyone has the option to sign up as a Growing Team with family, friends, or neighbors to pool crops together, track their collective impact, and compete for prizes.

The Harvest initiative: 

  • Provides local gardeners, groups, and interested individuals with virtual resources on food growing and harvesting, including guides, checklists, and ongoing webinars 
  • Maintains a list of local retailers and nurseries to get supplies and tools 
  • Connects gardeners through social media channels and remote networking opportunities 
  • Partners with community-based nonprofits to provide gardening supplies to low-income gardeners 
  • Creates and engages community growing spaces to encourage increased food production both now and long-term 
  • Maintains a network of distribution agencies and partners to collect and share produce with local food banks

For an overview of the Harvest initiative, visit: http://phsonline.org/harvest. To grow as part of PHS Harvest, visit https://phsonline.org/for-gardeners/harvest/sign-up today!  If you are a food pantry or soup kitchen that would like to receive produce through the Harvest initiative, please contact Tanya at tsen@hungercoalition.org.

SNAP Hotline

Our SNAP Hotline continues to operate Monday – Thursday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and on Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at 215-430-0556.  

• Click the link for the City of Philadelphia’s list of COVID-19 food distribution site locations across Philadelphia for student, senior and outdoor food pick up sites.  

Click the link for listings (phone numbers and addresses) of all Philadelphia County Assistance offices. While offices remain closed to the public at this time, you can drop off paperwork in "drop boxes" outside. Note, however, when calling it is often quicker to contact the Customer Service Center at 215-560-7226 (Philadelphia) or 877-395-8930 (statewide).

 WHAT CAN YOU DO?  

Sign up to receive our up-to-date Advocacy Alerts, Make a Donation or Become a Monthly Donor.

We strive to build a community where all people have the food they need to lead healthy lives. Hunger is preventable. Thank you for your continued support of our work! 

The Coalition Against Hunger Team  

Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger
123 Chestnut Street Suite 401 | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106
215-430-0555 | info@hungercoalition.org

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