WIC Summer Meals Program

Free Lunch Does Exist

The Crozer-Keystone Community Foundation WIC Program continues to disprove the adage “there is no such thing as a free lunch.”

This summer, WIC will serve free lunches to children 18 years old and younger and special needs students 21 and under. Records show that 16 percent of children in Delaware County are living in households facing food insecurity.

“WIC’s participation as a summer feeding site is a natural extension of our work to fight food insecurity in our most vulnerable children,” said Filomena Ahlefeld, Director of CKCF’s WIC Program.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program, also known as the Summer Meals Program, provides children and teens in low-income areas free meals when school is out.  Mainly funded by the federal Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, the program is administered in Pennsylvania by the state’s Department of Education.

For more than16 years, the WIC Program in Delaware County has partnered with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Nutritional Development Services to be an open community feeding site where children receive meals in a safe and supervised environment. The free Summer Meals Program will be offered Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – noon, June 19 – August 24 at the following locations:

  • Chester WIC Office (2602 West 9th Street, Suite 103, Chester)
  • Springfield WIC Office (1260 East Woodland Avenue, Suite 211, Springfield)
  • Upper Darby WIC Office (Barclay Square Shopping Center, 1500 Garrett Road, Suite 20, Upper Darby)

Providing New and Nutritious Foods

Ms. Ahlefeld goes on to say, “not only does the Summer Meals Program meet the nutritional needs of children who normally participate in free- and reduced-cost meal programs available to them at school, but also promotes healthful eating patterns among children and their families.” The lunch menu is designed to provide children with 1/3 of their nutrient needs for the day. All milk provided through the program is 1% or skim. Whole grains are high in fiber and recommended for a healthy diet so all breads and rolls available on the program are made with whole grains. The Summer Meals Program encourages children to eat more fruits and vegetables by including a fruit and vegetable with every meal. The program also provides children the opportunity to try new fruits and vegetables. This year’s menus offer new kinds of freshly cut fruits and vegetables including jicama sticks, rainbow baby carrots and mango.

CKCF’s WIC Program expects to serve more than 1,500 free lunches this summer. “With over 26,410 of Delaware County’s children eligible for subsidized school meals, it is vital that the community is aware of our community’s summer meals program,” says Ahlefeld.

For more information

To learn more about WIC’s Summer Meals Program, download the flyer or call 484-471-3320.

To find additional summer meal sites, text FOOD to 877-877, call 1-866-348-6479 or visit Summer Food Rocks.

PA WIC is funded by the USDA. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.