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Summer Food Programs Begin in Area Communities

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CHICOPEE, Mass. (WGGB) — The Summer Food Service Program has kicked off in Massachusetts.

The program provides free nutritious meals for children who don’t always know where their next meal is coming from.

For many children, leaving school for the summer means losing access to school meals. This can lead to unhealthy meals, fatigue and learning loss.

The Summer Food Service Program makes sure those children get the nutrition they need.

“Every year, we have a Summer Food Service in the park for the children that might not be able to get some of the foods that they need at home,” explains Joanne Lennon, the director of food service for Chicopee.

This year, more than 50,000 children will get free nutritious meals throughout Massachusetts. Sarah Jane Park being one of those places.

“We have a high free/reduced rate in Chicopee. A lot of the kids depend on the food that we have during the school year. So, what do they do in the summer? They need something during the summer to get them through the hot months,” Lennon adds.

Project Bread is a Boston-based anti-hunger organization. This year, it gave the program $8,400 for healthy breakfasts, lunches, snacks and dinners for children in western Massachusetts.

“I believe that there is a good percentage of children that this is there only good meal they get. The shelter feeds a lot of kids, but this gives that an alternative from going to the shelter. It gets the kids in the parks,” says Donna Jette.

The program serves more than 600 sites across the state, including schools and neighborhood centers.

You can CLICK HERE for a complete list of the programs across the state.

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WGGB encourages readers to share their thoughts and engage in healthy dialogue about the issues. Comments containing personal attacks, profanity, offensive language or advertising will be removed. Please use the report comment function for any posts you feel should be reviewed. Thank you.
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