GCS, Comfort Food Community, and Batttenkill Community Services team up to provide summer meals for local students.
Greenwich Central School, Comfort Food Community (CFC) and Battenkill Community Services (BCS) are teaming up to continue providing meals to GCS students throughout the 11 weeks of the summer. This partnership will ensure that kids continue to receive nutritious meals while also supporting local agriculture through the state’s Nourish NY program.
When school was closed in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the state required that schools create a food continuity plan to make school lunches available to students. GCS decided to accomplish this by preparing, packing and delivering food to students’ homes. Since March, the school has been preparing 5 breakfasts and 5 lunches for every GCS student that has chosen to
participate – about 300 students, on average.
As the school year was winding down, the school was informed that the state would not be supporting summer meals directly but encouraged schools to establish partnerships with community organizations to continue meals service, if possible. That started a conversation between GCS, CFC and BCS. Filling this summer meal gap fits squarely into CFC’s mission to contribute to the health of the community through the inspirational power of good food.
CFC Executive Director, Devin Bulger remarked, “We are experienced in the logistics of procuring, handling and distributing food through the other programs we offer, so this felt like a good program for us to support.”
Supporting Local Agriculture Through Nourish NY
The summer meal program also represents a great opportunity for CFC to utilize funding that it received through the state’s Nourish NY program. CFC was awarded grant money that can only be used to purchase NYS produced food. The program is designed to support farms that have seen a drop in their demand due to COVID-19 and to then distribute that food through community programs. CFC is anticipating that it will purchase $40,000 – $50,000 of local farm products through this program and $65,000 overall.
Battenkill Community Services rounds out the partnership with a wealth of culinary experience. Their staff and individuals have been working on various culinary projects out of the Community Food Center kitchen for the past few years and will step in to handle the menu planning and meal preparation for the program. “We are excited to use our skills to support this program, to cook with local food and to feed kids in our community,” said Sarah Moses, BCS Food Director.
Operating this program over the 11 weeks will require a significant amount of volunteer support.
We need your help! If you or someone you know would be interested in helping to assemble or deliver meals you can sign up online here: http://vhub.at/gcssummermeals
Or reach out to Devin Bulger at firstname.lastname@example.org // 518-538-3522.
Farms that are interested in selling product through the program can also reach out to Devin.
The Summer Meal Program is another great example of how the Greenwich community is coming together to respond the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.