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What’s Growing On? April 2020 News from Grow Southcoast

by: Adam Davenport, Grow Education Manager

Our Farm-to-School project rests on the foundation of our amazing partnerships.  In this month’s newsletter, we wanted to give a shout out to the heroic efforts of the New Bedford Public Schools Food and Nutrition Services Team (New Bedford MA Public School District) who have seamlessly altered their production system to serve over 50,000 meals in the past month!

Leading up to the outbreak of COVID-19, we heard many concerns about food equity issues if schools were to close.  Students across the nation, coming from areas of poverty, rely on meals that they are served in schools – what would they do without those meals if schools shut down? The NPBS Food and Nutrition Services Team jumped into action and answered the new directives immediately so that students would not miss a meal. As school closures continue, the essential employees of the food service department are risking their well-being to make sure kids get fed.

Rob Shaheen, Director of Food Services, has been a welcome addition to the conversations and networking happening with the Marion Institute’s Southcoast Food Policy Council. Perishable items that would have gone to waste were quickly redirected to the United Way’s Hunger Commission. They are working to use all of their resources to get food to students and families who need it most.

See the information below, and the Food and Nutrition Services website, for more information about their meal program and distribution during the COVID-19 closures.

Help Kids Grow! Volunteer with Grow Education

It was just announced today (April 21) that school will not be returning for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. We still want to support food security in our schools’ neighborhoods by planting their gardens this Spring (pending District approval.)  We need experienced garden volunteers to help (at a safe distance of course).

If you are interested, please reach out to Grow’s program manager, Adam Davenport at adam@marioninstitute.org.

COVID-19 School Closure Announcement: Grab & Go Meal Service

Grab & Go Meals can be picked up from meal site locations Tuesday and Friday 11:30 am-1:00 pm during the New Bedford Public Schools’ closure due to COVID-19. There will be no congregate feeding. All meals must be taken and consumed off-site.

Three (3) breakfasts and three (3) lunches can be picked up on Tuesday and Friday for each child (18 years old or younger) from any of the serving locations.

Serving Locations:

  1. Gomes Elementary School: 286 S 2nd St, New Bedford, MA 02740
  2. Campbell Elementary: 145 Essex Street, New Bedford, MA 02745
  3. Carney Academy: 247 Elm St, New Bedford, MA 02740
  4. Keith Middle School: 225 Hathaway Blvd, New Bedford, MA 02740
  5. Lincoln Elementary: 445 Ashley Boulevard, New Bedford, MA 02745
  6. Hayden-McFadden Elementary School: 361 Cedar Grove St, New Bedford, MA 02746
  7. Roosevelt Middle School: 119 Frederick St, New Bedford, MA 02744
  8. 52 Walker Street, near Brickenwood Housing Development
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