When school's out, lunch is still served

Bromely residents attend the Anna Cole community center summer kick off on June 8, 2015.

At the summer kick off last Wednesday, Project Hope invited the Bromley Heath residents to the Anna Cole Community Center to take advantage of nutrition information from Boston Public Health Commission’s REACH project and free food provided by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and sponsored by Boston Public Schools.

The free food was provided as part of a summer food service program created by USDA to tackle food insecurity (consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year) and obesity for many families living in Boston, especially those who rely on school lunch to feed their children during the school year.
One of the event’s speakers, Turhan Dorsey, Chief of Education from Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s office, emphasized the importance of the program and nutrition in general.

“Food is important for skill building,” he said. “We need to address food insecurity concerns in Boston because there are still pockets of communities with families in Dorchester, Mattapan, Roxbury, and even East Boston who don’t have access to food. This why we need programs like the summer food project because it fills in the gap for families.”

Since its launch 20 years ago, the summer service food program has expanded its goals to reach 2,000,000 kids each year across the country. Some sites have dropped the program, but many more have picked it up, allowing 80,000 kids to access lunch and breakfast through the program a day.

Deborah Ventricelli, Deputy Director of Food and Nutrition at Boston Public Schools said that kids in the summer food service learned about health benefits of eating breakfast through Fuel to Play 360, an in school program that promotes eating healthy dairy foods.

Fuel to play 360 administers the summer program to 4,000 kids in all states, excluding Maine.

“We try to encourage kids to drink and eat low fat dairy foods like 2 percent milk because there’s so much nutritional value,” Jill Reed, The program’s coordinator said. Reed mentioned the program’s current objective is to also increase awareness for parents.

For the event, Fuel to Play 360 brought Pat the Patriot, and the program’s spokesperson, Jermaine Wiggins, a former New England Patriot Summer Bowl Champ.

“I grew up in East Boston with a single mother and remember programs like this helping me stay out of trouble and filling in when my mother was working two jobs,"Wiggins said.

As a courtesy of USDA’s summer food service program, kids were served grilled hotdogs, potato salad, watermelon, and low fat milk before adults at the event.

 “This is called watermelogne,” said a group of young boys, slurping on juices from fresh-cut watermelons.


| 7/13/2015 10:20:06 AM | 1 comments


Debra Cunningham
seeking a job.
7/28/2015 8:27:18 AM
 Security code

Stay connected and up to date