GMFTS Lunchbox program returns for 12th summer

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NEWPORT — Green Mountain Farm-to-School’s (GMFTS) Lunchbox program is set to return for its 12th year, offering free meals and enrichment activities to Northeast Kingdom residents throughout the summer.

The Lunchbox, a participant in the USDA-funded Summer Food Service Program for Children, aims to provide 3,000-4,000 free meals to children 18 and under. Adults can also purchase meals for $8 (cash and check only). The Abbey Group prepares and serves these nutritious meals, which feature local ingredients.

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In addition to meals, the program offers “Outside the Truck” enrichment activities, engaging children in arts and crafts, science, reading, and music. The Lunchbox also features a Market Basket table providing free produce sourced from school gardens and local farms, along with recipes for preparing meals using in-season ingredients.

Hilary Rosa, GMFTS Food Access & Logistics Coordinator, highlights the program’s multi-faceted benefits: “For those families that are struggling to put food on the table, The Lunchbox provides much-needed relief and allows them to stretch their budget a little further. For those just looking for something to do, The Lunchbox facilitates a number of free activities that are fun and educational.”

The Lunchbox will operate from June 25 to August 15, serving three locations from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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  • Tuesdays: Leach Public Library in Irasburg
  • Wednesdays: Barton Public Library
  • Thursdays: Gardner Memorial Park in Newport

Since its inception in 2012, The Lunchbox has become a thriving space for food access, local food, and community building in the Northeast Kingdom.

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