CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Every summer for the past twenty four years, the state has provided free lunches for campers at the Chicopee Park Department Summer Sports Program.
Nearly 100 campers of the OPEE Summer Adventure Program enjoyed a nourishing lunch Monday at Fairview Park behind the Fairview Elementary School.
After the Fourth of July, as many as 180 children are treated to this daily free lunch in the park for the next six weeks.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides the food to states where financial hardship exists. Chicopee Park Department Director George Gaouette spoke with 22News about the program.
“This area, that’s why we qualify, certain areas in certain parts of the city qualify for the state program that works out nice for us,” said Gaouette.
He said, without the federal funding for this lunch program, the park department would have to pass along the cost to the parents of these children, creating a hardship for some families.