FREE SUMMER FEEDING PROGRAM STARTS:
June 20 – August 12th, 2016
(Closed –July 4th)
Putnam Public Library
Lunch: 11:30 - 12:00pm
Putnam Public Housing - 123 Laconia Ave.
Lunch: 12:05 - 12:35pm
Putnam High School 152 Woodstock Ave.
OPENED MONDAY-THURSDAY ONLY
JULY 5- JULY 28
Putnam Elementary School - 33 Wicker Street
Breakfast: 8:15 - 9:00am
Lunch: 11:00am - 12:15pm
Free Meals Starting June 20 - August 12
For Parents/Guardians with Children
Participating in the Putnam Summer Meal Program
Provided by Interfaith Human Services of Putnam
USDA's Free Summer Meals Program Starts In Putnam, Thompson
Denise Coffey Staff Writer
Free summer meals start in Thompson, Putnam
Putnam Food Service Director Jeannette LaPlume stood near a table covered with cheese and pepperoni calzones, watermelon, yogurt, graham crackers, milk, and juice.
Approximately 30 children waited in line to pick what they wanted to eat for lunch. The line moved fast. The kids were hungry and LaPlume and her staff – Susan Salce and Margaret Walker – didn't have much time to spare. They move from one location to another in half hour time slots.
This was one week of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Free Summer Meals Program. Four locations in Putnam will provide the service in low income areas. These include the Putnam Elementary School, Putnam High School, Putnam Public Library, and the Putnam Housing Authority on Laconia Ave.
The Thompson Ecumenical Empowerment Group on Thatcher Road and Riverside Park are the two locations in Thompson that will provide meals. Children up to the age of 18, or 21 if disabled, are eligible to participate.
LaPlume said approximately 100 children are served at each Putnam site. There will be more now because the high school will serve meals from July 5 to July 28. The shortened schedule is due to construction and other activities scheduled at the high school.
Children in Putnam also participate in activities each day. On June 27, LaPlume had them play a fruit and vegetable toss. Their rewards were apples and Sun Chips.
"We have a special activity calendar," she said. "We'll plan different activities for the kids depending on their age. They always have something to do in a safe environment."
According to Shannon Yearwood, director of Child Nutrition Programs at End Hunger Connecticut, 14 percent of Connecticut residents are food insecure.
"Having a trusted provider who gives a predictable, reliable, safe, and nutritious form of food is really important," she said.
In Connecticut, just one out of every four students who receive free or reduced price school meals also participates in the federal summer meals program. According to End Hunger CT, 34.9 percent of students in Thompson and 62.1 percent of students in Putnam are eligible for free or reduced meals in school.
According to the Food Research & Action Center's annual report, Connecticut is fifth in the nation for the number of low-income students reached by Summer Meals Programs. Last year, Connecticut reached 25 percent of students who are enrolled in the National School Lunch Program. Only Washington D.C., New Mexico, Vermont, and New York reached a higher percentage of children.
The FRAC report urges states to provide meals to 40 percent of the children served by NSLP. Reaching this goal would mean serving summer meals to an average of 22,728 Connecticut kids daily.
There are no income guidelines for the summer meals program. Last year, 41,676 Connecticut children were served by the program, which provided 1.9 million summer meals.
Putnam: Putnam Elementary School, June 20 to Aug. 12; Breakfast: 8:15 a.m. to 9 a.m. Lunch: 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.; Putnam Public Library June 20 to Aug. 12; Lunch 11:30 a.m. to noon; Putnam Public Housing, 123 Laconia Street, June 20 to Aug. 12; Lunch 12:05 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. Putnam High School, July 5 to July 28 only.
Thompson: River Mill Village Park, June 20 to Aug. 22; Lunch: noon to 1 p.m. TEEG, Thatcher Ave, July 5 to Aug. 12; Breakfast 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
|Summer Feeding July Menu||375.66 KB|
|Activity Calendar at Library and Public Housing- FREE||30.64 KB|