SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Sodexo delivered the 1,000,000 meal to Springfield and area students Wednesday morning as part of the meal program that was put in place after schools closed due to COVID-19.
The Edward P. Boland Elementary School is where the one millionth meal was picked up by the parents of a Springfield student. The school department used the occasion to salute the front line staff that keeps the food pick up program running seamlessly day after day.
Superintendent of Springfield Public Schools Dan Warwick told 22News that once the food pick up program hit the ground running in March, it’s been a success story, “As the mayor said, we were planning that Sunday night for Monday and we had it in operation to feed our families up and running the first Monday morning.”
Since those early days of the food pick up program, the diet has been enhanced with the additional of fresh strawberries. The school meal diet hopes to benefit from food growing programs such as the one that began at the Boland Elementary School long before the virus forced the closing of schools.
“And so kids are learning how important it is is and they’ve learned how to grow and some of the students in their backyard because we can’t provide some gardening this summer,” said Liz O’Gilvie, chairperson of the Springfield food policy council.
The celebration highlighted the staff that have made these meals and provided them to students in need since schools closed on March 12. Community partners have also helped make this possible by providing supplies and resources for Springfield families.
The celebration also included raffles where students could win prizes such as bikes and other fitness gear.