Covid-19 Unsung Heroes
Having been a community leader and liaison for years, West Belmont Civic Association President, David Pickett, continued to step up to help those in need when the pandemic hit. David was determined to make food accessible for all neighbors, especially the seniors, so he personally delivered boxes of food to families in Belmont and coordinated with other community leaders to do the same. Additionally, he partnered with PEC to help with their pop-up food giveaways, and with the Dornsife Center in delivering prepared meals to their residents. When David was not delivering food, he volunteered his time cooking and serving food at food sites, or handing out flyers, masks, and sanitation/cleaning supplies to families. He even set up his front porch as the unofficial Promise Neighborhood hub to store items for the community and play streets. We are all grateful to David for continuing to cultivate a safe haven and serve those in need during this time.
Greener Partners’ mission is to strengthen community health through food, farms, and education. Once the outbreak of Covid-19 ensued, they began distributing shelf-stable items and produce to hundreds of families and seniors in West Philadelphia, providing nutritious food to those experiencing food insecurities. Creating virtual farming classes, Greener Partners was able to give students and families the tools to learn online during the crisis. Through their combined efforts of harvesting, bagging, and delivering produce each Friday, they ensure families in the Belmont neighborhood and beyond are able to enjoy delicious, nutrient-dense food. During this crisis, the team members transitioned from participant to volunteer to part-time staff, stepping up in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic to care for their community. We are ever thankful for their commitment and compassion to nourish and strengthen our community.
Play Street Volunteers
Each summer in Philadelphia, hundreds of residential streets are blocked off from traffic to give children a safe place to gather, play, and eat a free, nutritious meal while school is closed. Designed in the 1950s by the city’s Parks & Recreation Department, the Playstreets program continues with the help of generous volunteers, especially during this time of uncertainty. The Promise Neighborhood has 11 play streets closed off from 10 am until 4 pm, with volunteers who set up and monitor play equipment and distribute lunch and snacks. Partnering together, the volunteers and Promise Neighborhood each supply art supplies, equipment, canopies, enrichment materials and toys, creating an environment that is fun and safe for children, especially at this time.