All Springfield children under 18 are invited to pick-up complimentary meals to last through the week of Christmas
As the COVID-19 pandemic stretches into month nine, food insecurity in Western Massachusetts continues to grow. To ensure that no child in Springfield goes hungry this holiday season, Springfield Public Schools’ Home Grown Springfield culinary and nutrition program is serving complimentary grab-and-go meals on Monday and Wednesday in the week leading up to Christmas and New Year’s week. Participating families will be provided with seven days’ worth of breakfast, lunch and dinner meals per child to last through Christmas and the weekend. Milk and juice are included in the service.
“The health and wellbeing of our students is our top priority at Springfield Public Schools,” said Superintendent Daniel Warwick. “Proper nutrition is critical to help our students learn. The pandemic has interrupted normal routines for families, and many of our Springfield students and families depend on the healthy meals they receive through our school meal program. Since March of this year, we’ve provided nearly 5 million meals to students. We’d like to extend that support to the greater community to make sure all children in Springfield under the age of 18 have access to the food they need this holiday season.”
More than 30 million children across the country depend on schools for free or reduced-price meals, and among low-income households who qualify for those meals, only about 15% have been getting those meals during the pandemic. In Springfield, the need is great, as the number of students who come from families with incomes below the federal poverty line has increased to over 80%.
Any child under the age of 18 who is a resident of Springfield is invited to pick up complimentary meals, which will include breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack to last through seven days. This program is open to all Springfield children, not just those who are enrolled in Springfield Public Schools. Meals are available at 18 different meal pick-up sites throughout Springfield. Children, parents or guardians are invited to pick up the meals and will not be asked to show identification. Safe handling procedures related to Covid-19 are in place including curbside pick-up and social distancing protocols for those on foot.
Meals will be available Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:00 PM-6:00 PM during break. Please note, service is closed on 12/25 & 1/1. Meals are available at the following schools: Boland, Bowles, Brookings, Central, Chestnut, DeBerry, Duggan, Forest Park, Harris, Indian Orchard, Lincoln, Milton Bradley, Putnam, Rebecca Johnson, Talmadge, Van Sickle, Warner, Washington.
“For many children, a school meal may be the only meal they have each day. While children who face food insecurity at home are on winter break, Springfield Public Schools wants to ensure that they have ongoing access to fresh, nutritious meals,” said Superintendent Warwick. “The district’s goal is to eliminate child hunger in our schools and community, and now it is more important than ever to get meals to our students.”
About Springfield Public Schools
The Springfield Promise: Springfield Public Schools are world class learning environments that produce 21st century leaders. Students will graduate from high school College and Career ready. The school district attracts knowledgeable, highly effective and diverse teachers and principals who want to work in a high performing district. Parents and community members are moving into Springfield for the privilege of sending their students to schools that are thriving in a culture of equity and proficiency.
The mission of Home Grown Springfield is to eliminate student hunger by increasing the quality, sustainability, and efficiency of the child nutritional programs in our schools and community.
Angela Christoforos, Greenough Brand Storytellers
Springfield Public Schools
Azell Cavaan, Chief Communications Officer
Springfield Public Schools