The Child Nutrition Outreach Program at Project Bread joined the Waltham Boys & Girls Club in hosting a kick-off event for the Summer Food Service Program at Lowell Spray Park on Tuesday, June 27. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is a federally funded, state administered nutrition program that provides free meals to kids ages 18 and under during the summer months in eligible areas.
The event celebrated the launch of the SFSP in 2017 for the Waltham Boys & Girls Club, and despite the rainy weather, there was a great turnout! Waltham mayor Jeannette McCarthy and City Councilor Carlos Vidale were on hand to meet with families and join in the day's festivities. Mayor McCarthy spoke on behalf of the city of Waltham about the importance of programs like the SFSP, and keeping kids in the community healthy and fed.
During the school year, 2,645 students in Waltham rely on free and reduced-priced school meals. In the summer months, families often struggle to absorb the additional cost of breakfast and lunch each day, and the Summer Food Service Program helps meet this need. In past summers, the Waltham Boys & Girls Club has served as many as 14,000 lunches in the months of July and August. This summer, they will operate 11 open meal sites in Waltham, including Lowell Spray Park, helping hundreds of families in the community to keep their kids happy and healthy.
The Boys & Girls Club works each year with the Child Nutrition Outreach Program at Project Bread to increase awareness about this program and ensure that more children and teens have access to healthy summer meals. Erica Young, Executive Director of the Waltham Boys & Girls Club, said that this year they were able to hire a Community Outreach Coordinator, Taiyo Brinkley, due to a grant they received from Project Bread.