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Struggling to Put Food On the Table This Summer? These Programs Can Help.

Summer is sunshine, swimming, hikes, bike rides, and fresh fruit. And for far too many Massachusetts families, summer is also a struggle to put enough food on the table. 


Nearly 23% of households with children face food insecurity in Massachusetts. For Black and Latino/a households with children, this percentage is significantly higher, according to the latest data from the US Census Household Pulse Survey. With schools out and kids back at home, lower-income families across MetroWest may have an extra hard time making ends meet. 


That’s where summer meals and Summer EBT can help. Read on to learn more about this programming and what’s available in your area.


1. SUMMER EATS


Summer Eats is a federal nutrition program that provides free meals to kids and teens (under 18) across Massachusetts during the summer months. It is implemented by Project Bread in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Education and local school and community providers. 


Many of the Summer Eats sites in MetroWest are hosted by the YMCA. The current list is below, and you can also check the YMCA website for updates

Site

Schedule

Amazing Things Art Center, Framingham

Monday-Friday, 1pm - 2pm

Butterworth Park, Framingham

Monday-Friday, 11:30am - 12:30pm

Clearbrook Swim Club, Framingham

Every day, 12pm - 2pm

Farm Pond Skatepark, Framingham

Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays, 11:30am - 12:30pm

Framingham Main Library

Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays, 12pm - 1pm

McAuliffe Branch Library, Framingham

Tuesdays/Thursdays, 12pm - 1pm

MetroWest YMCA, Framingham

Monday-Friday, 4:30pm - 6:30pmSaturdays & Sundays, 11am - 1pm

West Hill Park, Natick

Tuesdays/Thursdays, 11:30am - 12:30pm

Questions? Contact Maggie Lynch: MLynch2@metrowestymca.org


Additionally, the Milford Public Schools are partnering with the Hockomock YMCA to offer meals at Memorial Elementary School:

Memorial Elementary School

11am-12:30pm, Monday - Friday, June 24 - August 16

You can visit the Project Bread Summer Eats website to learn more about the program and find an interactive map listing meal sites, times, and points of contact across the state.


Kali and her kids recently attended a Summer Eats Kickoff Party hosted by the MetroWest YMCA at the Amazing Things Art Center in Framingham.

2. Additional MetroWest Summer Meals Programs


In addition to these Summer Eats sites, a few area providers and school districts in the MetroWest region are offering supplementary or complementary programming. Find these options in the table below.

Town

Site

Schedule

Program 

Learn more

Maynard

Open Table 

Tuesdays – 3:00 to 6:30 PM;

Thursdays – 11:00 to 4:30 PM

Kids Summer Lunch Program (Meal pickup) 

Hudson

Quinn Middle School

Monday mornings, June 17 - August 19

Summer Food Program (Food delivery for students enrolled in Hudson public schools)

Framingham

Butterworth Park

Thursdays from 11:30-12:30

Daniel's Table Full Belly Bag Program (Food pickup) in collaboration with the YMCA

Contact Daniel’s Table for information: 

(508) 405-0769


Download the Open Table flier here:

Fuel up for summer 2024- Digital Version-Simplified
.pdf
Download PDF • 419KB

Download the Hudson Public Schools fliers in English, Portuguese, and Spanish here:


English Hudson Public Schools Summer Food Program
.pdf
Download PDF • 147KB

Portuguese- Hudson Public Schools Summer Food Program - Nely Frias
.pdf
Download PDF • 120KB

Spanish-Hudson Public Schools Summer Food Program - Nely Frias
.pdf
Download PDF • 148KB

3. SUMMER EBT


Summer EBT is a federal program administered by the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) that helps low-income families with school-aged children buy food when schools are closed for the summer. The benefit is $40 per month for each eligible student ($120 for the summer).



For families who already receive SNAP, this benefit will automatically go onto EBT cards in July. For families who are eligible for Summer EBT but do not receive SNAP, the DTA will mail out Summer EBT cards, also in July. Most eligible families in Massachusetts do not need to apply for the program; the DTA should issue these benefits automatically. However, if your family was not automatically enrolled, you can apply online through DTA Connect. Children are eligible if they attend a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP) and if their household meets the income limits for these programs.


4. Year-Round MetroWest Food Pantries and Meal Programs


Last but not least, families can access all of the usual pantry and meals programming from area providers that we update on the MWFC calendar each month. Some families may not be accustomed to using these resources during the school year, but could benefit from a little extra support with their weekly groceries during the summer months. If you want to help spread the word about these options, you can find printable fliers on the website listing pantry and meal site information for each MetroWest town in our catchment area.


 

We hope that the options above can provide support to you or your friends or neighbors this summer if needed - and, we know that no family or child should have to worry about getting food on the table during the summer months in the first place. That’s why a big aspect of our work at the MetroWest Food Collaborative is to advocate for policies and funding that expand equitable food access and alleviate food insecurity permanently. Learn about our policy priorities here, check out our latest newsletter for tips on taking action, and sign up for our emails to stay in the loop.


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