KENSINGTON, PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - Miss Monica's Place -- an afterschool safe haven for underserved children -- continues to serve the community of Kensington, but not without a fight.
When FOX 29 first shared Monica Wright's struggle to meet government funding qualifications for an afterschool meals program, generous viewers helped keep the program afloat. Now, government guidelines and red tape threaten the program's efficacy.
FOX 29's Joyce Evans visited Monica in her makeshift kitchen set up in what used to be a trash strewn lot, a dumping ground for contractors and a former shooting gallery for heroin users.
Kids trickled into Miss Monica's new government approved digs -- a lot which sits directly across from the program's old home on the 3100 block of Reach Street.
The garbage and flies seem to indicate otherwise, but the lot actually fits government guidelines for serving summer and afternoon meals, unlike the space inside Monica's rowhome.
"It's nasty," Monica told FOX 29. "It exposes the kids to what's going on in the streets."
The scene is exactly what Monica says she was protecting kids from the past few years as she offered meals, snacks, arts and crafts from the safety of her home.
For now, the Catholic Archdiose is providing meals to the summer meals program. But the hurdles Miss Monica has to climb continue to plague her efforts.
Now, Monica is asking federal authorities to look at current guidelines and make some changes so that more children may benefit from programs that already have the funding to feed them.
Anyone interested in reaching out or donating to Monica Wright's afterschool meal program efforts should refer to the contact information below: