Every child deserves the chance to thrive during the summer and return to school ready to learn. But in Massachusetts, roughly 360,000 low-income students are at greater risk for both hunger and obesity once school lets out for the summer months. These are the students who normally eat free or reduced-price meals at schools, and they are the same students facing a summer of staying at home, watching TV and relying on chips or other cheap snacks to nourish them.
This summer, Project Bread and Partners HealthCare are working together to try to fill the meal gap with healthy, quality lunches for nearly 4,000 children at 56 neighborhood sites in Boston, Revere and Lynn through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Across the state, the SFSP provides food for approximately 55,000 kids at 822 neighborhood sites. These sites provide lunch, and sometimes also breakfast and a snack, and are located in Boys and Girls Clubs, community centers, schools and playgrounds, churches, and YMCAs (read a recent Bay State Banner article about the program here).