Woman feeding Philadelphia kids faces new challenges

- A woman in Kensington who spends her summers feeding Philadelphia’s kids is back at it in another new location, but is now facing a new challenge.

“Somebody’s gotta break the circle,” said Monica Wright.

A circle of hunger and despair in a really tough neighborhood. It means the world to struggling parents like Tony and his little ones.

“It’s been saving us a lot of money. Some days I have to find odd jobs to make sure they eat.,” said Tony.

Feisty grandmom Monica has been featured in previous FOX 29 stories about her fight to provide free meals to hungry children along Reach Street.

She’s now at two new donated locations – in the courtyard of the Seventh Day Adventist Church at F and Allegheny and inside a former restaurant at Kensington and Schiller.

Some of the children who come in for lunch and a snack are homeless out on these streets with a parent who may be hooked on drugs. It may be the only food they get all day.

"I just feel it shouldn’t be a struggle like this,” Wright explained.

She’s talking about the added struggle with adults around the church location.

“Sell needles right in front of the kids and do drugs deals. And, adults are blocking their way, nodding or squatting or whatever. They’re doing some of everything,” Wright adds.

Including getting aggressive with one of her volunteers, she says, when he refused to give the adults on the corner food and water. One volunteer hasn’t come back since a fight broke out and the adults looted the kids food.

“Is it worth it for them to come out here and fist fight with another adult because somebody wants an apple and a cheese stick?” Wright asks.

Her lunch crowd was smaller on a day when FOX 29 visited, but the group was appreciative.

“A kid can’t ask for money and you don’t want to see a kid get caught up in this lifestyle, where they’re making money out here for food,” Wright said.
 

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