Following a successful roll-out last year, the Chester Housing Authority has completed its second annual Summer Food Service Program, serving more than twice as many meals as last year.
In addition, the added attraction of refurbished computer labs at the three community centers where the meals are served helped children to keep their minds sharp during the summer season."After the basic food program ran so successfully last year we felt it important to add an education element this year," said CHA executive director Steven A. Fischer.
"Unfortunately, many of the families we serve don't have a computer in their home, which is a tremendous disadvantage, and we were encouraged to have older kids helping younger kids to learn at our community centers."CHA served about 16,200 meals over the eight-week period that ended on August 28, with fruits, vegetables and healthy eating an important component of the program, funded by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.
"This year our program's serving capacity increased because the kitchen renovations at the William Penn site were completed prior to the start of the program, which allowed us to prepare more meals onsite at that location," said Norman D. Wise, CHA Director of Housing Operations.
Both the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the Pennsylvania Department of Education conducted reviews of the program and noted CHA was in full compliance with program regulations at its three sites."For the second year in a row we have received administrative reviews from both agencies indicating we know how to effectively run this program," Wise said.Each year, the housing authority looks for ways to add onto its contribution to the community.
The agency is working to develop a structured program for all age groups, including acting as a resource center for adults seeking to prepare job resumes and conduct online job searches.