April 7th is World Health Day. The theme for World Health Day 2015 is food safety. We recognize that access to safe, nutritious food is a critical issue for many people living in Philadelphia. The AIDS Library of Philadelphia FIGHT has a variety of resources available to the public that provide information about accessing nutritious, and at times, free meals in Philadelphia. Some of resources are outlined below:
Free Meals in Philadelphia
Free Meals in Philadelphia – The Philadelphia Food Access Collaborative updates this resource listing of organizations providing free meals in Philadelphia. The publication includes a weekly schedule for each organization, as well as distinctions for populations that services are catered to including, but not limited to, wheel chair access, women and children only, men only, seniors only, and shelters.
The Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger offers a list of resources including:
- Food Pantries in Philadelphia (find your nearest food pantry on an interactive map here)
- Free Meals in Center City and University City (click here for a calendar of free meals, click here for a map of free meals)
- A Food Resources in Philadelphia Guide
- A Food Resources for Seniors in Philadelphia Guide
Additionally, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly referred to as food stamps) offers nutrition assistance to eligible, low-income individuals and families in need of groceries. To see if you qualify to receive SNAP benefits and to apply for benefits, the following options are available to you:
- Call the SNAP Hotline at 215-430-0556: Residents of Bucks, Chester, and Philadelphia counties can apply for SNAP benefits by phone. Hotline counselors are available Monday-Friday (9am-5pm)
- BenePhilly Centers offer free one-on-one professional support to help Philadelphians enroll in benefits. To find a BenePhilly Center near you, call 844-848-4376 to schedule an appointment. If you are located in Center City, schedule an appointment at Philadelphia FIGHT (1233 Locust Street, 3rd Floor). Cayden Halligan, Care and Outreach Librarian of the AIDS Library is available to help you from 9am-5pm.
- Text “SNAP” to 84700
Nutrition Counseling and Meal Program in Philadelphia
MANNA (Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance) – MANNA provides “nourishing, healthy, healing food” to people living in Philadelphia battling life-threatening illnesses. The staff at MANNA create and home-deliver meals customized for 11 different dietary modifications to accommodate different diseases. To find if meals may be delivered in your area, check here. MANNA’s Registered Dietitians provide free nutrition counseling in both individual or group consultations.
Tips for Food Safety
The World Health Organization (WHO) has a number of factsheets and manuals in PDF format available on their website with food safety tips for the public. Most of the resources are available in the official languages of WHO (English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, French, and Russian) unless specified below. Some of those include:
5 Keys to Safer Food (available in the official WHO languages)
How to Prepare Formula for Bottle-Feeding at Home (available in the official WHO languages)
How to Prepare Formula for Cup-Feeding at Home (available in the official WHO languages)
How to Prepare Powdered Infant Formula in Care Setting (available in the official WHO languages)
For additional information, contact the AIDS Library at firstname.lastname@example.org.