July 2019 Fresh Focus

2019 Summer Eats Meal Sites

The Summer Eats season has arrived! When looking for meal site locations for this upcoming summer, we encourage you to check our website’s Meal Site Finder Map frequently, as more site locations are being added continuously. Currently, there are 650 verified meal sites for this upcoming summer. As sites are confirmed every week, we will update our website accordingly with 2019 locations. Please check back often for the most up-to-date sites! You can also text "FOOD" or "COMIDA" to 877-877 or call Project Bread's FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333.

Summer Eats Materials Available!

Looking for additional materials for your Summer Eats program? Project Bread is happy to send you a variety of promotional items, including Summer Eats t-shirts, Farm-to-Summer coloring books and toolkits, and palm cards and posters in an assortment of different languages (Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Cape Verdean, Russian, Chinese, and more). If you are interested in any of these materials, feel free to place an order by responding to this email or online at http://www.meals4kids.org/materials.

Sunglasses, buttons, and frisbees on a table

Summer Kick-Offs Celebrate Free Summer Meal Programs

Sites and sponsors across the state are welcoming the beginning of their Summer Eats program by inviting local officials, holding kid-friendly activities, and serving up delicious free meals in their communities.

Boston Summer Eats Kick-Off

Boston Summer Eats kicked off their program last week at the Mildred Haley Apartments in Jamaica Plain with partners Project Bread, Mayor’s Office of Food Access, and Greater Boston YMCA. Kids enjoyed lunch along with an afternoon of activities, including Boston Police Department’s ice cream truck, Boston Water & Sewer’s water truck, books from the Boston Public Library, lawn games, nutrition trivia and prizes, and shelf stable meals provided by Heavenly Harvest Foundation. Children and guests heard remarks from Project Bread President Erin McAleer, Boston Chief of Health & Human Services Marty Martinez, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Food Access Catalina Lopez, Boston Housing Authority’s Greg Davis, and Greater Boston YMCA’s Wendy Zinn.

Waltham Summer Eats Kick-Off

Project Bread, Waltham Boys and Girls Club, and Partners Healthcare celebrated Summer Eats in Waltham with a kick-off event at Drake Playground on Wednesday, June 26th. Kids enjoyed free lunch as well as music, a bouncy house, farm animals, crafts, and an appearance from Mickey Mouse!

Summer Food Rocks Tour

Sites in Massachusetts’ 2nd Congressional District welcomed Congressman Jim McGovern and guests to the 6th Annual Summer Food Rocks Tour on Monday, July 8th. The event kicked off the Summer Eats season by generating excitement for the program and encouraging families to participate throughout the upcoming months. The day began at Silver Leaf Terrace in Leominster where guests and kids ate breakfast together, followed by musical chairs and nutrition trivia (with prizes!). Lunch was served at Ryan Road Elementary in Florence, and activities were provided by Massachusetts Farm to School, Grow Food Northampton, Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, and more. A roundtable discussion followed lunch, giving participants the opportunity to convene and discuss the state of Summer Eats. The day ended with supper from one of Worcester Public Schools’ mobile meals trucks at University Park.

Kids with Rep. McGovern, Erin McAleer and Rob Leshin

Farm to Summer

Summer is a wonderful time to take advantage of sourcing local Massachusetts produce and products for your meals. Massachusetts Farm to School’s Summer Harvest of the Month program provides you with posters, trading cards, and stickers to help you promote local foods, as well as e-newsletters with recipes and activity ideas to share with kids and caregivers in order to encourage healthy, nutritious, and local eating habits. For more details about the program, visit https://www.massfarmtoschool.org/farm-to-summer/.

Project Bread also encourages you to incorporate Farm to School initiatives to your Summer Eats program. Procurement info sheets, toolkits, recipe cards, coloring books and crayons are available to help you source locally and educate kids about Farm to Summer. Please reach out to us if interested in these materials!

Welcome Sharon, Meredith, and Abigail!

We are excited to welcome summer staff who will be working to increase participation in Summer Eats! In May, Sharon Johnson joined as our Boston Summer Eats Coordinator. Prior to Project Bread, Sharon started and ran a summer lunch program that has provided over 25,000 lunches since 2012. Sharon also worked for two years at Wildflower, Inc., an organization that helps provide summer camp experiences for kids who have lost a parent. Also new to the CNOP team are our two No Kid Hungry Youth Ambassadors, Abigail Girard and Meredith Morris. They will be doing community outreach and promotion for Summer Eats in the communities of Quincy and Waltham this summer. Meredith is a junior at Boston College, majoring in English and Communications. She is on the Student Initiatives Committee at BC and has helped to raise $133,000 for the Relay for Life as a Corporate Sponsorship Committee Member. Abigail is a senior at Lesley University and is studying to be a school counselor. She most recently interned at Horizons for Homeless Children, traveling between 33 shelters in the Greater Boston area to run play spaces for children.

Lawrence Breakfast Celebration

On Friday, May 31st, Project Bread was joined by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, the American Federation of Teachers, Commissioner of Education Jeffrey Riley, Senator Barry Finegold, Representative Marcos Devers, and Lawrence Public Schools administrators and staff at Frost Elementary School to celebrate Lawrence’s implementation of Breakfast After the Bell (BATB) programs. This celebration of BATB at Frost Elementary brought visibility to the problem of hunger in the classroom and the many implications it carries for students who don’t have enough to eat. At the event, guests came together to observe Breakfast in the Classroom in kindergarten and second grade classrooms, then discussed the BATB work being done in Lawrence to ensure all children have access to school breakfast.

Students with Rep. Devers, DESE Commissioner and Erin McAleer