Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney announced new efforts Wednesday to help the city’s youngest and oldest residents during the coronavirus pandemic.

The city will offer sites with grab-and-go meals for seniors and sites with free diapers and other supplies for babies.

“We know that COVID-19 adds another layer of uncertainty for our citizens who may need special care and support, especially older adults and infants," Kenney said.

Diapers and baby supplies

When the city began to shut down due to the coronavirus, the city’s health department heard from families and nonprofit organizations that “no one really knows who’s still giving out diapers,” said Stacey Kallem, the department’s director of maternal, child, and family health.

Kallem said her staff initially identified only three stakeholders who were still giving out diapers and formula to families with babies. Now, thanks to some additional organization and a grant that the PHL COVID-19 Fund provided to the Greater Philadelphia Diaper Bank, caregivers can pick up diapers and other supplies at 10 sites around the city.

Kallem said residents should call ahead prior to picking up supplies from the sites to ensure that the appropriate diaper size is available. Some of them also require appointments to distribute the supplies in a safe manner.

The sites are:

  • Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network in Northwest Philadelphia, 7047 Germantown Ave.
  • Catholic Social Services - Casa del Carmen in North Philadelphia, 4400 North Reese St.
  • Catholic Social Services - Southwest in Southwest Philadelphia, 6214 Grays Ave.
  • Catholic Social Services - Northeast in Northeast Philadelphia, 7340 Jackson St.
  • Catholic Community Services in Northeast Philadelphia, 10125 Verree Rd. Suite 200
  • Feast of Justice in Northeast Philadelphia, 3101 Tyson Ave.
  • St. Cyprian Food Pantry in West Philadelphia, 525 S. Cobbs Creek Pkwy.
  • Mighty Writers West in West Philadelphia, 3520 Fairmount Ave.
  • Mighty Writers El Furturo in Center City / South Philadelphia, 1025 S. 9th St.
  • Archdiocesan Pastoral Center in Center City, 222 N 17th St.

More information and hours of operation can be found at the city’s website.

The city is also offering virtual support appointments for pregnant women and new mothers, as well as an app to help women with breastfeeding.

Meals for seniors

The city and the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging will open 23 sites for seniors to pick up grab-and-go meals.

The sites will distribute two meals per senior on Mondays and Wednesdays. Seniors can also have family members pick up the meals for them, and should call ahead to the sites to arrange for pickup, city officials said.

A map of the pickup sites can be found here.

Ongoing meal distribution

The city also added two new sites to the locations providing meals for children on Mondays and Thursdays.

Those two additional sites, supported by the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation and the Nutritional Development Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, are Tarken Playground and Scanlon Ice Ring and Playground. They will open Thursday.

There are already 80 meal sites in the city where students can pick up meals, and 40 sites offering boxes of food for any residents.

The meal sites have distributed 55,799 boxes of food and more than 1 million student meals to date, the city announced Thursday.

The Philadelphia Inquirer is one of more than 20 news organizations producing Broke in Philly, a collaborative reporting project on solutions to poverty and the city’s push toward economic justice. See all of our reporting at brokeinphilly.org.