Where Philly kids can find free meals during coronavirus school closures

by Avi Wolfman-Arent

To create an improvised meal-distribution program that would feed thousands of families across two-dozen sites, the Mastery Charter Schools network needed some help.

Administrators asked if three staffers at each of its 24 schools could volunteer time to provide this critical service.

The response was “overwhelming,” said Kerry Woodward, Mastery’s Deputy Chief of Institutional Advancement. Between 10 and 15 staffers stepped up at each school, helping the region’s largest charter-school network pull off this considerable undertaking in just three days.

“We are serving our communities by serving meals to anyone in need,” said Woodward.

Mastery started dishing out meals Tuesday and will do so twice a week “for as long as necessary,” Woodward said.

And the need is clear. Mastery distributed 400 meals to 300 families within the first hour of opening its site at Shoemaker School in West Philadelphia, according to Woodward.