Twenty-two percent of Philadelphians are food insecure — unsure of where their next meal is coming from.
The Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council’s Anti-Hunger Subcommittee saw the need for a food resources toolkit that consolidated information about how to get affordable, healthy food in Philadelphia. So it gathered and compiled reliable information about different types of food resources for a project now known as Philly Food Finder.
Phillyfoodfinder.org is a comprehensive, mobile-friendly website with a searchable map and detailed info on local food resources such as pantries, farmers markets, senior congregate meals, WIC, and SNAP. In addition, it also enables providers to submit updates regarding new programs or changes, critical to maintaining correct data.
The website had a soft launch earlier this year in January, with an official public launch at our May Good Food for All Conference. In addition to the website, there will also be paper food resource guides, broken down by Councilmanic District in the near future.
Philly Food Finder aims to be a place where Philadelphians can:
1. Search for all needs in one place.
There are many dedicated anti-hunger groups working to address these important issues in Philadelphia. This toolkit serves as a way to bring all of their resources together in one comprehensive location, and makes it simple for people to get connected to emergency food, meals for children and seniors, public benefits, and fresh produce.
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2. View information on-the-go.
You can access this website on a mobile phone. It can be useful for providers during a local health fair or for a community member assisting their neighbor.
3. Move beyond immediate food assistance.
Although approximately 470,000 Philadelphians currently receive SNAP (food stamp) benefits, there are still an estimated 180,000 individuals who qualify for SNAP but are not participating in the program. This website provides detailed information on applying for SNAP and other nutrition assistance programs that help thousands of low-income families buy food at the grocery store.
4. Increase awareness of underutilized resources.
The resources section of the website has specific information for seniors & children, two vulnerable populations for which access to food can be limited. This section also includes information about farmers’ markets and fresh produce options, where people can learn more about accessing healthy, nutritious food for free or at an affordable rate.
5. Influence policy.
Using data gathered from the traffic to its website, the Philly Food Finder team will demonstrate to policymakers where resources are compared to need. This will help them make more educated decisions about food policy and influence long-term, systemic change in our food system.
View the guide at http://www.phillyfoodfinder.org/
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