mayor-william-peduto-announces-free-afterschool-meal-program

Children eating lunch at school, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from U.S. Department of Agriculture’s photostream

Nearly 20% more meals served during summer expansion of GrubUp campaign

PITTSBURGH, PA (September 24, 2015) – Over a meal of mini twin cheeseburgers, whole fruit juice cup, fresh baby carrots and fat free chocolate milk, Mayor William Peduto broke bread with a group of students today at Ammon Recreation Center to launch the city’s free afterschool meals program.

The afterschool program is part of GrubUp, the year-round campaign to serve free meals to all children up to 18 years old as well as individuals with mental disabilities up to 21 years of age. Meals are being served at all 10 city recreation facilities from 5-6:30 p.m. MondayFriday.

In June and July, GrubUp served up 147,467 healthy breakfasts, lunches, and snacks — a nearly 20 percent increase from 2014 — with meals offered at 12 additional permanent sites. Additionally, GrubUp rolled out the Mobile Food Truck, in partnership with the Pittsburgh Public Schools, which had pit stops at 38 different parks, pools, playgrounds and libraries.

GrubUp is part of Live Well Pittsburgh and is made possible thanks to grants provided by the National League of Cities and National Recreation and Park Association funded by the Walmart Foundation.

According to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, more than 45,000 children in Allegheny County are considered to be food insecure; 73,500 children are eligible for free or reduced-rate school lunches or breakfasts.

“We’re looking to build on our success from the launch of the GrubUp campaign this summer and get more youth into our Citiparks centers to benefit from an array of afterschool activities and get their grub on,” says Mayor William Peduto.

GrubUp is administered by the Pittsburgh Department of Parks and Recreation (Citiparks) and is supported, in part, by a $50,000 grant from the National League of Cities and a $30,000 grant from the National Recreation and Parks Association. Annual reimbursement funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Pennsylvania Department of Education and with the ongoing participation of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and Just Harvest.

Following the success of the summer campaign, the city hopes child-serving organizations across Pittsburgh will become a GrubUp afterschool partner and open their doors to provide meals programming for our youth. Full program details, including a comprehensive list of locations, are available at www.grubuppgh.org, or by calling (412) 244-3911 or 2-1-1. Follow the campaign via Twitter at @LiveWellPGH, @citiparks and #getyourgrubon.