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Philly Synagogue Tackling Problem Of Summer Hunger

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A summer food program starts Monday at Rodeph Shalom Synagogue for kids who rely on their free school lunches to eat. The program is expected to fill more than just their bellies.

Rodeph Shalom rabbi Eli Freedman says there is a real childhood hunger problem happening in the Spring Garden neighborhood where the synagogue is located.

"Kids in Philadelphia who are lower-income get free breakfast and lunch at the public schools during the year," Freedman said. "However, what do they do in the summer?"

That's the question that prompted his congregation to partner with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and offer up their facility to the public.

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"'Breaking Bread on Broad' is a free summer meal program for kids in the neighborhood and so much more than that," he said.

Weekdays starting Monday, breakfast will be served from 8-9 a.m. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 pm., and, in between meals, there's free summer programming.

"We're really drawing on the expertise of folks from our congregation," Freedman said. "We have one young woman who is a yoga teacher and she's going to be coming once a week and doing morning yoga with the kids. We have someone else who's an art teacher, someone who does clay, works with the Clay Studio."

Rabbi Freedman says all kids under 18 years old are welcome as there will be no income or eligibility verifications.

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