Served Over 30,000 Meals to Students in Need So Far
WEYMOUTH — Superintendent Jennifer Curtis-Whipple, Assistant Superintendent Brian Smith and Food Services Director Elizabeth Sauro are pleased to share that Weymouth Public Schools is ensuring that Weymouth students are supported with meals during the ongoing school closures relating to COVID-19.
In order to ensure that students’ nutritional needs continue to be satisfied during Weymouth Public Schools’ closure, the district is offering students continued access to school meals.
“The meal program our district provides has been a bright light in these unprecedented times,” said Assistant Superintendent Smith. “This program allows us to provide work for our employees during the school closure while feeding those in need. It’s been a great opportunity for community members to grab a meal and say hello to staff members from a safe distance.”
Meal pick-up is available at the Abigail Adams Middle School, 89 Middle St., and the Seach Primary School, 770 Middle St., Mondays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. All children are eligible to receive meals and meals can be provided for five days per student. This service is free to all children who live in Weymouth. Students who wish to receive meals do not need to RSVP in advance.
Those in need of meals but who don’t have access to the pick up locations should contact Assistant Superintendent Smith at [email protected] to discuss alternative arrangements.
Cafeteria staff at Weymouth Schools fill bags with food items including pasta, sauce, beans, cereal and granola bars for students. On Monday students receive food items for the following two days, and on Wednesday students receive hot meals for the following three days.
To conduct this program, Weymouth Schools administrators, food service employees and transportation employees, as well as maintenance and custodial employees, have all been hard at work to ensure the program is operating smoothly and efficiently.
To abide by social distancing guidelines there are no more than 10 workers in the kitchen preparing food at once and everyone is required to wear a face mask.
These guidelines extend past the kitchen and are strictly enforced during the pick-up process. All families picking up food must remain in their cars and a worker wearing a mask and gloves will bring the food to their vehicle.
“Continuing to provide the support our students need is essential even while our facilities remain temporarily closed,” said Director Sauro. “We want to ensure that we provide a great service to our community members while being responsible in our efforts, therefore we are taking all the necessary precautions to ensure our workers and those picking up food are abiding by health guidelines and protocols.”
The Weymouth Food Pantry is assisting in the district’s efforts by helping to get word about the meal program out to the community. The district also donates any extra food it has on Friday to the pantry to be distributed to community members on Saturday.
“I would like to thank all of our building based and district staff, including Transportation Supervisor Robin Howard, Deputy Director of Maintenance Services John Barker and Assistant Superintendent Brian Smith, for spearheading this program,” said Superintendent Curtis-Whipple.
As of May 19, the Weymouth Public Schools meal program has served over 30,000 meals to students in need. On average, the program serves between 650-700 meals a day.
Additionally, on Friday, May 1, Director Sauro recognized her workers on School Lunch Hero Day for their continuous hard work and dedication. Each lunch worker received a t-shirt and mask as tokens of appreciation.
Resources for Parents
Any family who currently receives SNAP benefits, or has signed up school-aged children for free and reduced lunch, is automatically pre-qualified for a special Pandemic SNAP card. Families who need assistance but weren’t pre-qualified can still apply. These cards can be used to purchase groceries at the supermarket, the same as the regular SNAP cards. More information can be found at https://www.map-ebt.org/partners.