Mission & History
A History of Providing Healthy Foundations to Philadelphia’s Children
We always start with the child in mind. It’s been that way since 1998 when St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children was formed.
We work towards making health equity a reality for Philadelphia’s children. We address the adverse social determinants of health by removing access barriers during critical moments of a child’s development. Providing a healthy foundation to children elevates their potential and gives their families hope for a better future.
We don’t do it alone.
In order to address these complex challenges, we focus on innovation using technology, best practices and strong community partnerships. We strategically partner with schools, health care organizations and non-profits rooted in the community – using our collective strength and resources to build and operate health equity programs. Combining this collaborative spirit, agility and passion for our shared mission creates greater impact for the children and families we serve.
We support the health and well-being of children in the community served by St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children through programs in the areas of care, outreach, research and education.
As a non-profit, we know that numbers matter. We also know that the numbers don’t tell the whole story. After all, how can you truly measure the potential living inside each child? Transforming that potential into a reality is our greatest hope for the future. It’s why we continue to create innovative preventative care and outreach programs and invest in research and education. Every child deserves a chance to grow into their fullest potential. Here are a few highlights of what we do.
Community Oral Health Initiatives
- Each year the program serves 2,800 children by providing comprehensive and continuous oral health care through individual hygiene instruction and preventive and restorative therapies at no cost.
- As the most visible part of the Community Oral Health Initiatives, the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile Program provides children access to no-cost pediatric dental care in Philadelphia, but this 40-foot tractor trailer is just one of our five approaches to offering a healthy dental foundation for children. Our comprehensive plan includes treatment, education, awareness, prevention, and early intervention.
My Family Kitchen
- Offered at a growing number of schools in Philadelphia and Camden, this 8-week after-school program—run almost exclusively by volunteers—teaches children how to make simple, healthy and affordable meals.
- While children learn how to cook, they also gain noticeable social-emotional skills as they practice working together in a team, decision making, and time management. Classroom teachers recognize the difference and note a marked increase in attendance.
Farm to Families
- This program offers families year-round access to low-cost, high-quality, local, healthy food choices, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, not readily available at their corner markets.
- Since the program began, we’ve delivered more than 450,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to fulfill orders at food hubs located in Philadelphia. Each order includes two culturally and economically sensitive recipes so families can successfully incorporate the fresh fruits and vegetables into a meal.
A Few Other Foundation Highlights
- We provide fund administration for over 30 funds that support projects and programs at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children.
- In 2019, our Suit Up for Summer campaign raised more than $11,000 so children could enjoy their local Parks & Rec community pool.
- In 2020, we worked with some of our partner organizations to distribute free, emergency food to about 700 immigrant families each week. We identified these families as underserved and overlooked by other government programs due to their immigration status.
- In 2022, we began partnering with a limited number of schools in Philadelphia to take 5th graders on day trips to green spaces outside their community.