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Week 4: Jason Kelce’s Eagles Education Season

Each week this season, the Super Bowl-winning offensive lineman compares Philly schools to those of our on-field competitors—and celebrates a local education innovation. This week, he looks at Green Bay

We’re up against Green Bay this weekend, and while it’s the smallest city to have an NFL team, it happens to have a really robust summer food program for students: There are more than three-dozen public parks where, this past summer, students could visit for free nutritious lunches.

It’s a great way to fill the summer nutrition gap, and it got me thinking about all of the Philly students whose families live in parts of the city where there’s little to no access to fresh, healthy foods like fruits and vegetables.

Prefer the audio version of this story? Listen to this article in CitizenCast below:

Did you know that the number of Philly public school students who are eligible for free lunch is so staggering that every single student is automatically eligible for a free meal, without having to fill out time-consuming paperwork?

That’s why I found it so uplifting to learn about Philabundance’s BackPack program.

Once a month, students at 27 participating sites are sent home with a backpack full of up to five pounds of food for their families (in addition to the schools, Cecil B. Moore Library and several Police Athletic League of Philadelphia locations participate).

The packs supply enough food for about three to six kid-friendly, easy-to-prepare meals. And Philabundance did something so smart: They made the backpacks available to all students, instead of putting just some kids in a position to feel self-conscious about having to ask for them. It’s so great when we can remove stigmas that hold kids back, isn’t it?

“We can’t learn without nutrition, and we can’t keep our minds active and healthy when we don’t have the proper nutrition to keep going,” Philabundance programs manager Hilary Stiebel says.

Stiebel is right: If kids don’t eat well, they can’t perform well. And every kid deserves solid nutrition, all year long.

Next week, we play the New York Jets, and I’ll fill you in on a multi-generational program bringing senior citizens into schools.

PS: You’ll notice fewer than 1% of Green Bay Area students attend charter schools; there are only two charter schools in the district. Demographic information from the students at those schools aren’t included in the statistics above. 



Philadelphia

Eagles

Green Bay

Packers

# of students in traditional public schools

203,225

# of students in traditional public schools

20,663

% graduated high school

69

% graduated high school

86

% population with a BA

26

% population with a BA

24

$ per pupil

15,000

$ per pupil

10,903

% students economically disadvantaged

73

% students economically disadvantaged

56

% students of color of

86

% students of color of

48

% students in charter schools

34

% students in charter schools

<1

% special education students

15

% special education students

15

% english language learners

12

% english language learners

22


Philly Sources: All from School District of Philadelphia except % with a BA from here, and $ per pupil here.

Green Bay Sources: All stats provided by Green Bay Area Public Schools except $ per pupil here.

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