Grant supports free meal program

WESTFIELD – A grant from the EOS Foundation is helping feed families in Westfield.

A grant of $8,293 was awarded to the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Westfield to support its effort to provide a free dinner to children up to age 18 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We want everyone to know that these healthy meals are available to every child, from young children to young adults.,” said Club CEO Bill Parks. “You don’t have to be a club member to receive them. In fact, parents/caregivers can pick up meals on children’s behalf to help ensure safe social distancing.”

Parks said for some families, keeping food in the pantry is a struggle.

“We know that home food supplies are running low and it’s important to try to keep people out of the supermarkets,” he said. “This is a federal and state- funded program, and the food is nutritious, so please come take your meals.”

The Boys and Girls Club offers meals at five sites throughout the city. Every child can receive a free bagged meal, which includes a sandwich, snack and beverage three days a week, as well as a hot meal two days a week. On Fridays, families can pick up limited quantities of meals to cover dinner on Friday and both a breakfast and a lunch for Saturday and Sunday.

All children from the Greater Westfield area are welcome to participate and meals can be picked up from a parent or guardian without a child present.

All sites encourage safe social distancing and a individuals should remain six feet apart.

Club sites serving meals Monday-Friday are the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Westfield, 28 W Silver St. from 4:30-6:30 p.m., Colonial Pine Acres, 50 Southampton Road from 5-6 p.m., Franklin Avenue Elementary School, 22 Franklin Ave., from 5-6 p.m., Powdermill Village Apartments, 26 Union St., from 5-6 p.m. and Edgewood Apartments, 134 Union St.

Club Chief Advancement Officer Bo Sullivan said anyone who needs a meal for a child but cannot get out of their home to pick it up should contact Bill Parks at [email protected] or Bo Sullivan at [email protected]

“We are proud to help support the great work of Boys and Girls Club’s CEO Bill Parks and his team,” said Andrea Silbert, president of the Eos Foundation. “They are front-lines heroes, ensuring distribution of nutritious meals for children at this unprecedented time.”

The Eos Foundation is a private philanthropic foundation committed to fighting hunger, poverty, and promoting education and gender/racial equity in Massachusetts.

The Boys and Girls Club meal program is slated to continue through June 29 when Sullivan said the Club’s typical summer lunch program will begin.

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