Food Access in Philadelphia

Philadelphia has a dynamic network of innovative programs aimed at addressing the hunger epidemic in the city. In addition to and in concert with the federally funded food programs, there are numerous programs large and small aimed at increasing food access.  These include:

SHARE allows people who perform two hours of community service each month to buy groceries from SHARE for 50% less than they’d pay at a store (which may include fresh produce from its small city farm). In addition, SHARE oversees more than 700 food pantries and soup kitchens throughout Philadelphia.
Fair Food, is dedicated to bringing locally grown food to the marketplace. Anyone who receives SNAP benefits is eligible for the Double Dollars program, Fair Food’s cash-match program at the Fair Food Farmstand in the Reading Terminal Market. Double Dollars increases access to healthy foods for all SNAP beneficiaries.
Farm to Families, an initiative of Saint Christopher’s Foundation for Children, is a progressive food share program.  Weekly food shares include fresh fruits and vegetables eggs, and meat from local farmers, Residents can use SNAP (previously food stamps) to pay for the food.
The School District of Philadelphia in partnership with the USDA food programs provided lunch to 70% and breakfast to 45% of the 200,000 children enrolled in school.  With new legislation, there is an increased focus on local fresh food and the elimination of processed and high fat foods and sugary drinks.
Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger “builds the capacity of food pantries and soup kitchens, so these vital programs can feed more people who urgently need food.” They help eligible families obtain food stamps (SNAP), so they can buy what they need to feed their family. They are also hunger policy advocates on the local, state and federal levels. Their three programs are: Hunger Fighters Network; SNAP Campaign; Policy Center.
Common Market Philadelphia is our principal partner and it is through this partnership that we are able to increase access to local foods. They are a values-driven wholesale consolidator and distributor of local food that links local farmers and city farmers markets. Their goal is to “support local agriculture and to make local food affordable and accessible on the wholesale level.”
The Food Trust has extensive school and community based programs including the Healthy Corner Store Initiative (with the City of Philadelphia) aimed at increasing the availability of healthy foods in corner stores and the Philly Food Bucks Program where farmer market customers receive $2 coupons for every $5 they spend in SNAP benefits (to integrate and supplement the federally USDA food nutrition program).