Free, healthy, delicious lunches for island school children, July 6 - August 14.
This program helps 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 now they have access to the lunches they need when school is out.
When and where will the program take place?
This year’s Community Lunch Program will run from July 6 to August 14. Due to COVID-19, the program will operate differently than in years past. Lunch recipients are required to enroll ahead of time, and we will distribute meals with a drive-thru pick-up system at our sites: Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School and the West Tisbury School. We’ll also send lunches to Martha’s Vineyard Community Services preschool and the Boys & Girls Club. To enroll, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who will prepare and serve the lunches?
Jean Zdankowski, a long-time food service professional and Oak Bluffs School chef, will prepare the meals with the help of Katie Ruppel, Tyler Poole, and a dedicated crew of volunteers. We estimate the number of meals per day at about 500, twice as many as past years.
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.
Would you like to Volunteer?
Kitchen Volunteers: We will use both kitchens at the high school for prepping meals and packaging lunches. We will be following COVID-19 protocol in the kitchens including taking temperatures of volunteers as they come in for their shift and requiring masks to be worn at all times. We are strongly encouraging volunteers to sign up for more than one shift in order to limit our pool of people entering the building throughout the summer.
We also recommend a COVID-19 test before your shift, available through Island Health Care. A Serv Safe Food Handler certification is encouraged but not required. Katie will be in touch with you for more information regarding safety protocols. Click here to sign up as a kitchen volunteer.
Distribution Site Volunteers: The pickup sites will be at the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School and the West Tisbury school. We’ll be set up under a tent for curbside, drive-thru pickup. Volunteers will help the site supervisor with distributing lunches to families using COVID-19 protocol. Please note: no one will be allowed to enter the school building during this shift except for an emergency, so please keep this in mind if that is uncomfortable to you. Click here to sign up as a distribution site volunteer.
We so appreciate our volunteers being willing to help this summer. We will be learning as we go and hope you can remain flexible and dedicated with us as the summer program moves forward and we do our best to keep volunteers safe and healthy.
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.