Healthy, delicious lunches for the community, free to all ages.
The original goal of the program was to help bridge the nutrition gap for children when school is out of session. 40% of island children receive free or reduced price breakfasts and lunches at school, and we want to ensure that all of these kids have access to the nutrition they need when school is out. We also know that many elders and others in the community struggle with healthy food access, and are glad to make these lunches open to all.
When and where will the program take place?
Lunches will be served at the Oak Bluffs Library, the West Tisbury Library, and the Family Center between July 9th and August 17th. We will also serve lunches at the Martha’s Vineyard Boys and Girls Club and the Martha's Vineyard Public Schools English Language Learner Summer Program for enrolled students in these programs.
During February and April vacation, meals will be served at rotating island libraries.
Who will prepare and serve the lunches?
Jean Zdankowski, a long-time food service professional and one of the school chefs from the Oak Bluffs School, will be preparing our lunches this summer, with the help of a dedicated crew of volunteers. More volunteers will be sharing their time to serve lunches at our sites; we estimate that more than 100 people will volunteer for the program this summer.
Our organizing partners who have brought this incredible volunteer force together include St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, the Hebrew Center, Edgartown Federated Church, the West Tisbury Congregational Church, the Food Pantry, We Stand Together, and Good Shepherd Parish.
How is this program funded?
Thanks to generous donations from private donors, the Couch Family Foundation, and the United Way of Cape Cod and the Islands, we are able to revamp the way we are running this year's program. We've grown the program from three service sites to five, the duration of the program from five weeks to six, and the scope of who we will be able to serve from children only to all members of the community.