Marion Institute to oversee food distribution program
A free meal distribution program designed to combat childhood food insecurity in Wareham, the Tri-Town and surrounding communities is expanding, according to the Marion Institute’s Executive Director Liz Wiley.
The Marion Institute collaborated with the Shah Family Foundation and the Greater Boston YMCA to expand the program, which was launched after Wareham was identified as one of three communities in Southeastern Massachusetts where households were at higher risk of experiencing food insecurity during the pandemic.
The program — which originally provided ready-made boxed meals for pickup only at the Gleason Family YMCA — now also offers boxed meals at the East Wareham School at 27 Depot Street on Tuesdays and Fridays.
“The Marion Institute is overseeing the second site at East Wareham Elementary school,” Wiley said, noting that meal distribution at the new location began on Tuesday, Feb. 16. “That is a new site for families.”
Meals are available for pickup on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to noon at the East Wareham School and from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. (or until food runs out) in the Y parking lot at 33 Charge Pond road.
“You can go to either location to pick up meals,” Wiley said. “They’re beautiful, nutritious, pre-prepared meals that just have to be warmed up.”
On Tuesdays, enough breakfasts and lunches for three days will be provided, Wiley said. On Fridays, enough meals will be provided for four days. The program was designed to supplement the distribution of free breakfasts and lunches that is still currently being carried out by Wareham Public Schools.
Any child under the age of 18 from Wareham or nearby towns is eligible to pick up fresh, ready-made boxed meals at the YMCA and East Wareham School locations.
“It’s for Wareham students, it’s for Bourne students, it’s for ORR students,” Wiley said. “And they don’t have to say where they're a student. They just have to say how many kids they have.”
Wiley emphasized that the meals are free and no ID is required. She also said children do not need to be present when meals are picked up.
The first meals were distributed at the Y on Friday, Jan. 29, and will continue to be available through summer 2021. Anyone with questions can contact Wiley at email@example.com.