Philadelphia, December 18, 2012– Mayor Michael A. Nutter signed an Executive Order creating the Philadelphia Food Access Collaborative, the coordinating body that will address the recommendations of the Mayor’s Task Force on Outdoor Serving of Food to improve access to free meals for individuals in need. The Philadelphia Food Access Collaborative will convene appointed community leaders, meal providers, volunteers, City officials and residents who use community food services to increase access to healthy, safe food and vital social services in an indoor setting.
“No Philadelphian should go hungry when resources and dedicated volunteers who are willing and able to help are present,” said Mayor Nutter. “The health, safety and dignity of individuals who utilize emergency food services has to be the key consideration as we work together to increase access to meals and services. I look forward to the great work that the Philadelphia Food Access Collaboration will do for our most vulnerable citizens.”
The initial goals of the Collaborative are:
- Increase the availability of meals at existing indoor meal service sites– Inventory existing indoor meal service organizations and assess their needs in order to increase the number of indoor meal options;
- Coordinate meal schedules to eliminate gaps in service – Support the coordination of meal schedules for both indoor and outdoor servers to ensure there is adequate coverage throughout the week for individuals seeking food, and make this information widely available;
- Identify opportunities for new space for meal service – Look for potential new space where outdoor servers can provide meals in a safe and healthy environment with indoor and outdoor space available to those being served food;
- Connect individuals to meals and other social service resources – Work to ensure that information on resources for meals and key social services are provided at meal service sites;
- Raise the visibility of these issues – Release an annual report on the work of the Collaborative towards advancing these goals, and the overall state of emergency food in Philadelphia; and
- Fundraise in support of these efforts – Identify additional resources to advance the work of this group.
“The Food Access Collaborative is positioned to be a game-changer in Philadelphia’s ongoing quest to alleviate the trauma experienced through hunger. By assembling proven leadership from diverse sectors and gathering a range of expertise, the Collaborative is positioned to drive our city toward new solutions to this vexing problem. This is a roll-up-your sleeves kind of group and I am proud to be a part of it,” said Bill Golderer, Co-Chair of the Philadelphia Food Access Collaborative.
Philadelphia Food Access Collaborative Members
Executive Director, St. John’s Hospice
Vice President, Logan Square Neighborhood Association
Director, Philadelphia Restart
President and Executive Director, Philabundance
Daytime Program Supervisor, Bethesda Project, Former Outdoor Food Consumer
Kim Fortunato, Esq.
Director, Childhood Obesity and Hunger Program, Campbell Soup Company
Executive Director, Chosen 300
Special Advisor to the Commissioner for Policy Development and Research,Department of Behavioral
Health and Intellectual disAbility Services
Executive Director, Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission
Executive Director, Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger
Executive Director, Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation
Chief Advocacy Officer, Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Former Outdoor Food Consumer
President and CEO, Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha
President and CEO, Jewish Employment and Vocational Services
Outdoor Food Provider, The Connect Church
Bill Golderer, Convening Minister, Broad Street Ministry, Pastor, Arch Street Presbyterian Church
Mary Horstmann, Deputy Director, Policy Planning and Coordination, Mayor’s Office
The Collaborative will be adding additional members to ensure broad representation from key constituencies on this issue.