Many chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease and obesity can be alleviated by changing how we work, play and eat. If you are an individual or public health professorial looking for nutrition / physical activity resources near you. Below are some tools you can use.
Physical activity, food access, & tobacco-use:
Resources for families, parents & kids:
Health justice & medical care:
Healthy kids are better learners. Interested in making sure your child’s school is doing everything it can to maintain a healthy environment? Here are two places to start:
- School District of Philadelphia’s Wellness Policy: Talk to your principal about whether your school has a wellness council or other structures for implementing this District-wide policy. (Not at a District school? Any school that participates in the National School Lunch Program should have a Wellness Policy.) Read even more about the Wellness Policy.
- The Food Trust’s HYPE Program: HYPE engages middle and high school students in making healthy changes in their schools and communities – and they’re looking to involve more schools.
After-school and summer programs
After-school programs can provide structure for kids to be active. Most after-school programs (including all that receive any City funding) limit screen time and provide physical activity for all fitness levels.
Physical activity programming for both girls and boys:
- Catholic Social Services
- Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia
- Boys and Girls Clubs
- First Tee of Greater Philadelphia
- Lenfest Center
- Let’s Go Outdoors
- Norris Square Neighborhood Project
- Outward Bound Philadelphia
- Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA
- Philadelphia Parks and Recreation
- Smith Memorial Playground
- Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation
- Starfinder Foundation
- Triple Threat
- We Can Swim
- Zhang Sah Martial Arts
- Students Run Philly Style
If you know of other physical activity opportunities for girls in Philadelphia, please let us know.
Find the right after-school opportunities for your children:
- Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation programs
- Philadelphia Department of Human Services programs
- After School Activities Partnership’s Directory of Philadelphia After-School Programs
- Philadelphia Youth Network for school-year internships and other opportunities for teens
- Free summer meals! Over 1000 Philadelphia recreation centers, churches, schools, and community organizations serve free nutritious meals and snacks to children and teens age 18 and under, as well as older students with disabilities. No ID or registration required.
- Free swimming! Philadelphia has more outdoor public pools (74) than any other city in the country, and most offer free swimming lessons and swim team opportunities for kids and teens.
- Fun Safe Philly Summer activities
- Playgrounds and other Parks and Recreation facilities
Physical activity for girls
Middle school girls in Philadelphia are five times less likely than boys to get the recommended 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity daily. (This corresponds with national trends, which show that boys’ physical activity increases from ages 5-10, while girls’ starts decreasing at age 6.)
These local organizations specialize in physical activity programming for girls:
- Girls on the Run Philadelphia
- Team Up Philly
- Philly Jems All Cities Double Dutch League and Team
- Philly Girls in Motion
- Black Women in Sport Foundation
Healthy kids are better learners. Interested in learning how a child’s school is can maintain a healthy environment? Here are two places to start:
- School District of Philadelphia’s Wellness Policy: Talk to the school’s principal about whether the school has a wellness council or other structures for implementing this District-wide policy. (Not at a District school? Any school that participates in the National School Lunch Program should have a Wellness Policy.) Read even more about the Wellness Policy.
- Physical activity throughout the school day activate’s kid’s brains and makes them ready to learn. Check out this infographic to see how physical activity is done in Philadelphia’s schools.
Nutrition Assistance Programs
SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)
SNAP benefits come on an Access card, which works like a debit card. Use it to buy food at supermarkets, corner and convenience stores and most farmers’ markets. Find out if you qualify today. Call the SNAP Hotline at 215-430-0556. Click here to find a SNAP retailer near you.
WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children)
Low-income pregnant and breastfeeding women, new moms, and children under age 5 can receive food, health screenings and nutrition counseling under the WIC program. Call 1-800-743-3300 to find out if you are eligible.
Summer Food Service Program
Low-income children and teens age 18 and under, as well as older students with disabilities can receive nutritious meals and snacks in summer when school is not in session. Meals and snacks are served at over 1000 Philadelphia recreation centers, churches, schools, and community organizations serve free nutritious meals and snacks. No ID or registration required. Call 1-855-252-MEAL, text “MEAL” to 877877 to find locations near you.
Philly Food Bucks
Philly Food Bucks are coupons that help SNAP users save money on fruits and vegetables at participating farmers’ markets. For every $5 you spend, get $2 in Philly Food Bucks coupons. Call 311 or click here to find participating markets near you.
Double Dollars is a double-value coupon program available at the Fair Food Farmstand in Reading Terminal Market. Double Dollars allows SNAP customers to purchase additional healthy foods at the Farmstand. When Double Dollars customers use their SNAP benefits, they receive a dollar for dollar match- up to $40 a month- in coupons to use on local fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat. Visit www.fairfoodphilly.org or call 215-386-5211 for more information.
FMNP (Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program) vouchers
FMNP vouchers for WIC recipients and qualifying seniors can be used at Philadelphia farmers’ markets. To find out more contact your local WIC office or for seniors contact the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging at 215-765-7040.
Philly Food Finder
Visit Philly Food Finder to find food resources such as pantries, soup kitchens, SHARE host sites, senior meal sites, and farmers’ markets.
Nutrition Standards Training Modules
In 2014, the City of Philadelphia issued Executive Order 4-14, establishing citywide nutrition standards (Standards) for foods and beverages purchased, prepared or served by City agencies (including contracted organizations).
The Standards were revised in 2022 to align with federal and state guidelines and reflect recommendations from Department of Public Health staff, other City departments, and community partners. Visit www.phila.gov/nutritionstandards for the updated standards.
Nutrition standards are an evidence-based strategy to ensure meals, beverages and snacks align with the latest dietary guidance. They are a model for other large institutions and employers, and send a market signal to suppliers to provide competitively priced healthy food options. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) has developed online training modules to offer food procurement staff (City staff who purchase food), food service managers and purchasing staff (those who develop menus, purchase, prepare and serve the food), and food vendors (those who provide/sell the food to City departments) the information needed to comply with Standards implementation. Select the module that best aligns with your role.
Kitchen Managers & Purchasing Staff: https://youtu.be/BvMYcTniZjc
Food Vendors: https://youtu.be/mAyFZsq-kLU
Once you finish taking the relevant module, please complete this survey at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdtEYR1p6N8tgfvYnPo_SscazCHsYrad5acow_W1xSKkxfAow/viewform?usp=pp_url and PDPH will send you a certificate as training confirmation.
For additional resources about the Nutrition Standards visit www.phila.gov/nutritionstandards
Nutrition Education Programs in the Community
Penn State Nutrition Links
Penn State Nutrition Links offers a series of free nutrition and food preparation group classes for limited-resource audiences. To learn how to bring this program to your location, call 1-888-778-3535 or 215-471-2200, extension 2.
Eat.Right.Now. Nutrition Education Program
Other local agencies also offer nutrition education programs to schools, recreation centers, pantries and a variety of other settings with a large SNAP-eligible population. To find out if your organization qualifies for nutrition programming, contact one of the providers below.
- School District of Philadelphia
- Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative
- Drexel University
- Einstein Health Care Network
- Health Promotion Council
- The Food Trust
- Drink Philly Tap Fact Sheet
- Small Changes – More Water Card
- School District of Philadelphia Hydration Infographic
- Discover exciting results from our Hydrate Philly Study
- Water Strategies for Early Childcare Settings
For hydration resources in various languages, click here.
- What’s Cooking USDA Mixing Bowl
- A Taste of African Heritage and Health Program
- A Taste of African Heritage Community Cooking Classes – A six-week cooking program, hosted by community activists around the USA.
- Delicious heart healthy Latino recipes
- Healthy food substitutions for home and going out
- Eating Well Magazine
- Chop Chop Magazine for Kids and Families
- Basics for handling food safely
General Wellness Resources
- Let’s Move – Program developed by First Lady Michelle Obama to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity within a generation.
- Healthy Living, American Heart Association
- Learn more about diabetes www.diabetes.org
- Por tu familia American Diabetes Association
- Live well. Learn how. www.healthfinder.gov
- Build a healthier generation www.healthiergeneration.org/
- Create a healthier eating style Choose MyPlate
Philadelphia Board of Health Recommendations
Board of Health Recommendations for Beverage and Screen Time in Early Childhood
- Recommendations for childcare providers
- Informations pour les fournisseurs de services de garde
- Información para proveedores de cuidados infantiles
Parents and Caregivers
- Recommendations for Parents and caregivers
- Informations pour les parents et les aidants
- Información para padres y cuidadores
Additional Resouce Guide on how to meet the recommendations
Healthy Meetings Policy
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health uses this Healthy Meetings Policy to help guide what healthy food and beverages should be offered during meetings, parties and special events. By implementing a similar policy, you can create environments supportive of employee health and wellness during the work day.
- For free and low-cost ways to get active, visit Philly Powered.
- To find food resources such as pantries, soup kitchens, SHARE host sites, senior meal sites, and farmers’ markets, visit Philly Food Finder.
- Download the StairWELL toolkit
Working members of the media, or community organizing groups, please use the following Get Healthy Philly media relations contact for inquiries. Journalists on deadline, are advised to contact our media relations team by email. Please put ON DEADLINE in the subject of the email, and be as specific as possible with your request.
Terry Johnson: Terry.email@example.com