Armand Pires, Superintendent
45 Holliston St.
Medway, MA 02053
Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019
Media Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Email: [email protected]
Medway Public Schools to Open School Based Food Pantry
MEDWAY — Superintendent Armand Pires is pleased to report that a school based food pantry will open at Burke-Memorial Elementary School this spring.
This past summer, Medway Public School officials partnered with representatives of the YMCA and the Medway Village Church Food Pantry to discuss how they could create a program that would supply students in need with food for the weekend.
The YMCA has partnered with other local schools to create similar programs to send students home with food.
“I think in any community, Medway included, there are students who are in need, families who are in need,” said Dr. Ryan Sherman, Director of Wellness at Medway Public Schools. “We already have a system in place where we can provide them with lunch, and at some of our schools breakfast, free of charge, every school day. But then we’re not sure how, or if, they’re getting all the food they need over the weekend.”
After applying to Stop and Shop for a grant to support a school based food pantry program, the district was awarded $1,600 this January. The funding from Stop and Shop will allow the school to build shelves, purchase backpacks, and buy food for the new program.
“This program will allow us to discreetly send students home with backpacks supplied with food for the weekend,” Sherman said. “We want all our students to feel safe and healthy and ready to learn. One of the building blocks of that is not being hungry. This is an easy way for us to make sure that basic need is met.”
The optional program will start by serving a group of 15 students. Those students will be among 50 to 70 children who are eligible for free and reduced lunches at the school.
The backpacks will include simple foods students can eat on their own, like granola bars and apple sauce, as well as meals they can prepare with an adult, like a pasta dinner.
The district is aiming to begin the program in early March, and is currently looking for parent and community volunteers to prepare the backpacks for each weekend alongside volunteers from the Medway Village Church Food Pantry. Those interested in volunteering can email Sherman at [email protected]
Those interested in donating food items to support the new program can do so by leaving bags marked “Food Pantry” at the church office of Medway Village Church at 170 Village St.