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CHA Summer Food Program Focuses Attention on Nutrition Education

After a very successful launch last year in which the Chester Housing Authority served 5,700 meals to local young people, the agency resumed its summer food program this week with an education component.

"We know from the success of our initial year that young children and teenagers will come to our community centers to enjoy breakfast and lunch, so we decided to take advantage and feed them some education between meals," said CHA executive director Steven A. Fischer.CHA has equipped and renovated its community center computer labs so that between breakfast and lunch or even after lunch children can keep their academic skills sharp.

Additional workshops will be held outdoors at the two-acre Ruth L. Bennett Community Farm, located within the Bennett development.These outdoor healthy eating workshops will be supervised by another CHA partner, Urban Tree Connection.  Activities will include those recommended by Michelle Obama and the USDA's Choose My Plate Initiative, designed to provide practical hands-on information to help kids, individuals and families make healthier food choices.

These health workshops are free and open to children and adults."Our focus this year is on raising awareness about the lack of access to quality food in the communities we serve," said Norman D. Wise, director of housing operations. "With bolstered activity in the community farm and rejuvenated activity in our computer labs, we hope more Chester citizens will become more aware of and supporting of our efforts.

"A recent report from the Food Research and Action Center found more low-income Pennsylvania children took advantage of summer food programs in 2014 than in 2013. CHA contributed to that trend and wants to continue the momentum this year.

."Our program is open to anyone in Chester 18 and under. We believe in encouraging strong bodies and minds, especially among our youth," Fischer said. "And we have designed our program with that goal in mind."The Summer Food Service Program runs through August 28.  Breakfast is served from 8:45 to 9:45 a.m. and lunch is 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. at the following locations:William Penn Homes Community Learning Center -514 Union Street Ruth L. Bennett Homes Community Learning Center – 1350 W. 9th Street, Booker T. Washington Community Learning Center – 611 Central Avenue