St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children Partners with Mama-Tee Fridge to Combat Food Insecurity in North Philly

St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children is partnering with Mama-Tee Community Fridge to become the only community refrigerator in the country located on a children’s hospital campus. A “grand opening” for the new refrigerator, along with a pantry, was held at St. Christopher’s on Wednesday, October 25, 2023.

The Mama-Tee Community Fridge Project is a food support initiative that assists neighbors in need. Awarded Best of Philly in 2022 and established in 2020, this project has made a significant impact by providing assistance to over 180,000 families within the city. There are currently 18 Mama-Tee Fridges dedicated to the mission: to help support anyone in need of food while also encouraging those with extra provisions to generously share their surplus.

With the support of local nonprofits, restaurants, grocery stores, and generous individuals, Mama-Tee Fridges help prevent edible food from being wasted by redirecting it to those who are in need.

The refrigerator at St. Christopher’s will be filled with healthy food, including fresh fruits, vegetables, milk, and sandwiches, and the pantry will contain essential non-perishable items such as canned goods, laundry detergent, diapers, and household cleaning supplies, plus bags and boxes for participants to carry items home. The public can choose whatever items they need. A community health worker from St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children is assisting in the ongoing screening, support, and utilization of the new resource.

The impact of food insecurity is pervasive in Philadelphia. In the most recent census, Philadelphia’s poverty rate was 23.1% - double the national average. Nearly 250,000 residents are estimated to be food insecure, with North Philadelphia widely considered a “food desert,” an urban area in which fresh, quality, affordable food cannot be easily found. The impact of these factors is most striking when comparing life expectancy across zip codes within the city, where children born in North Philadelphia have a 20-year-shorter life expectancy than those born in the more affluent neighborhood of Old City.

“Food insecurity in Philadelphia is a significant issue, and too many of those impacted are children,” said Don Mueller, St. Christopher’s president and CEO. “St. Christopher’s and Mama-Tee share a mission of improving the health of the community, and access to healthy food is a critical part of the equation-especially for children and teens.”


About St. Christopher's Hospital for Children

St. Christopher's Hospital for Children is a 188-bed facility providing exceptional care to children from across the Philadelphia region. Founded in 1875, the hospital has more than 200 physicians who are pediatric experts, and offers a wide array of specialties. St. Christopher’s is home to one of only three Level I pediatric trauma centers in Pennsylvania, a Level III neonatal intensive care unit—the highest level­—and the only pediatric burn center between New York and Baltimore. The hospital is a Magnet® designated facility­—the gold standard of nursing—and is one of the largest pediatric medical training centers in the country. For more information, visit

St. Christopher's Hospital Impact