We are so grateful to the many food service heroes who have made grab-and-go meals available to local families continuously since March 2020! While most public schools are on break from December 24-Jan 4, school-sponsored free meals for kids will be limited. Here is information to help families who have been relying on school meals or who are facing food insecurity in the next few weeks:
Greenfield Public Schools plans to distribute 7 days of meals (breakfasts and lunches) from 10a.m. to 1p.m. on 12/23 and 12/30 at all of their sites. See the December menu for more details. These meals are available for anyone between the ages of 0 and 18. Children do not need to be enrolled in Greenfield schools or live in Greenfield, and caretakers can pick up the meals for children.
Gill-Montague Regional School District will provide 5 days of meals (breakfast and lunch) at all of their distribution sites on Tuesday, 12/22 plus a bag of groceries for families in need. Scroll down to “Sites in Montague, Turners Falls, and Gill” on the Free School Meals for Kids page for pick-up time/location details.
While schools play a vital role in fighting hunger in our community, many other organizations share the work of making sure that people of all ages have access to healthy food. Free meals and groceries are being distributed just about every day throughout the county, in a variety of ways. This two page, printable handout from the Franklin County Hunger Task Force highlights quite a few. For more options, check out the Franklin County Food Access Resources list, the Food Bank of Western MA’s list, or call the Project Bread Food Source hotline: 1-800-645-8333 (Mon-Fri, 8am-7pm, and Sat 10am-2pm)
See if you qualify for SNAP. If your family’s financial circumstances have changed, or the number of people in your household has increased, SNAP provides funds for groceries, and extra money for local fruits and vegetables (through HIP). Plus if you are eligible for SNAP and have school-aged children, the Pandemic-EBT program puts additional funds into your account as well. Learn more or apply here: DTA Connect
Use Pandemic-EBT. If you received a P-EBT card earlier in the year, check your balance at the end of December! Funds are scheduled to be added to accounts before the end of the year. This program will continue to disperse funds each month through the rest of this school year! Learn more: www.projectbread.org/get-help/covid-19-hunger-food-resources-for-households