Harvest season has begun in Philadelphia. Many Kensington community gardens, food distributions, and food pantries will be overflowing with fresh produce soon.
In Kensington, residents can take advantage of yearlong and seasonal resources addressing food access.
According to Feeding America’s annual study, nearly 250,000 Philadelphians (about 16%) experienced food insecurity in 2020. Food deserts — areas like North Philadelphia with limited access to affordable healthy food — are a potential barrier for residents who want low-cost, nutritional meals.
We’ve compiled a list of churches and community organizations distributing free and low-cost, healthy food this fall.
Community Action Relief Project
Community Action Relief Project is a mutual aid and harm reduction organization serving the Kensington area. The organization runs a pop-up distribution table with free food and clothing at the corner of Kensington and Lehigh avenues every Sunday at 1 p.m.
Community Center at Visitation
CCV’s Fresh Food Pantry at 2646 Kensington Ave. is open Mondays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The nonprofit provides a variety of programs for Kensington residents.
Coral Street Fridge
The Coral Street Fridge is a volunteer-run community fridge located outside the Kensington Community Food Co-op at 2670 Coral St. The fridge is open 24/7 and contains free donated meals and pantry items. To volunteer, click here.
Cornerstone Community Church
Cornerstone’s food cupboard at 2058 E. Allegheny Ave. is open every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m (except Thursdays after the first Tuesday of the month). To receive food, you have to sign up for an appointment the first time and bring proof of residency within the 19134 Zip code. Cornerstone is a non-denominational Christian church on the corner of Frankford and Allegheny avenues.
Esperanza Fresh Farmers Market
Esperanza Fresh is a partnership between Esperanza Health Center and America’s Grow-a-Row to distribute fresh produce in North Philadelphia. The outdoor market is open every Thursday until Oct. 13. The Hunting Park distribution runs from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at 4417 N. 6th St. The Kensington distribution runs from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the lot at the corner of Westmoreland and H streets. Community members should bring their own grocery bags. There is no charge, but a suggested donation of $5 is appreciated.
Greater Goods – Sunday Love Project
Sunday Love Project is an organization focused on ending food insecurity in Philadelphia. Toward the end of this summer, the organization opened Greater Goods, a free grocery store at 3200 Kensington Ave. One individual per household can visit the store once every Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. Greater Goods uses a point system instead of money. There are item limits too. Customers must bring their own bags and photo ID to shop. To volunteer, click here.
St. Joan of Arc Church
St. Joan of Arc Church‘s food pantry distributes prepackaged items on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon. The distribution happens behind the church, so recipients should line up on the sidewalk near Joyce and Atlantic streets. There’s a once-a-week limit for food.
Norris Square Neighborhood Project
Every Saturday, NSNP hosts its annual Farm Stand from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Raíces Garden at 2217 N. 2nd St. All produce is sold for $1 per pound or less. The Farm Stand ends on Nov. 19.
Norris Square Senior Community Center
Norris Square Senior Community Center provides one hot meal a day to adults ages 60 and up at 2121 N. Howard St. The service is available Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To receive a meal, individuals must bring a photo ID to register for the community center’s free membership.
Open Door Ministries – Kensington Assembly of God
Open Door Ministries runs a food distribution site inside the church at 3375 Frankford Ave. Every Thursday, the organization gives away free food to community members from 10 a.m. to noon.
St. Francis Inn
St. Francis Inn is a soup kitchen primarily serving people experiencing homelessness at 2442 Kensington Ave. The Catholic organization serves breakfast Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., dinner Monday through Thursday from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., and lunch on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Simple Way
The Simple Way is a local organization connecting community members to resources. The free food pantry is accessible Monday through Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Seniors-only shopping hours happen on Fridays at the same time. The organization also has a 24/7 community fridge located outside of its building.
West Kensington Ministry
WKM distributes food at 2140 N. Hancock St. on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. You can also schedule an emergency pick-up by calling 267-879-6310.
Editors: Zari Tarazona / Designer: Siani Colón