City of Cambridge Adapts Summer Programming to Continue Supporting Cambridge Youth and Families

Beginning Monday, June 22, the City of Cambridge Department of Human Service Programs (DHSP) will begin operating its annual Cambridge Summer Food Program and open applications for its free Online/Offline Summer Programming. Both programs will support and engage Cambridge youth while following the Commonwealth’s health and safety guidelines, including proper social distancing and use of face coverings. The Cambridge Summer Food Program, which aims to increase food security for all Cambridge youth, provides free bagged breakfast and lunch to anyone 18 years of age and under. Every weekday beginning Monday, June 22 through Friday, September 4, Cambridge youth can pick up free breakfast and lunch meals (including vegetarian options) between 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the following locations:

  • 35 Cambridge Park Drive
  • Fletcher-Maynard Academy (225 Windsor St.)
  • Haggerty School (110 Cushing St.)
  • King Open School (840 Cambridge St.)
  • Morse School (40 Granite St.)
  • Peabody School (70 Rindge Ave.)
  • Putnam Ave. Upper School (100 Putnam Ave.)
  • Rindge Towers (362 Rindge Ave.)

Plans to incorporate free dinner meals are also in development by DHSP staff. During meal distribution, staff will adhere to COVID-19 health and safety guidelines by wearing face coverings and gloves, sanitizing surfaces, and enforcing social distancing between staff and youth. Individuals picking up meals will also be required to wear face coverings.

“Food insecurity is one of the biggest issues that communities locally and nationwide are grappling to address as we recover from the pandemic. We are proud to continue offering the Cambridge Summer Food Program to ensure that all Cambridge children have access to fresh food every day and to lessen the burden of families financially impacted by COVID-19,” said Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui and City Manager Louis A. DePasquale in a joint statement. Registration for DHSP’s free Online / Offline Summer Programming will also open on Monday. Cambridge children in Kindergarten through 8th grade can enroll in morning or afternoon sessions on a weekly basis, July 13 – August 21. Programming will include daily virtual gatherings with friends and counselors; virtual activities to engage with in real-time; offline projects to do at home; and supervised outdoor play by DHSP staff. Children must have completed one year of Kindergarten to enroll and priority will be given to applicants eligible for free or reduced lunch.

In addition to offering programming for K-8 graders, DHSP continues to support high school youth through the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program (MSYEP). The annual program offers paid work experience to Cambridge residents who are at least 14 years of age, and youth remain eligible to participate in MSYEP through the summer after their high school graduation. This summer, MSYEP work sites will operate virtually, and DHSP staff will assist any participants with technological barriers. The deadline to apply to the program is Friday, June 19.

“The Cambridge Summer Food Program, Online/Offline Summer Programming, and the virtual Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program are just a few examples of the many ways that City staff have adapted and reimagined programs in order to continue educating, engaging, and empowering Cambridge youth,” said Ellen Semonoff, Assistant City Manager for Human Services. “While this summer’s programming will be different than past years, we are excited to explore new ways that we can support Cambridge youth and families.”

Page was posted on 6/17/2020 3:48 PM
Page was last modified on 6/17/2020 3:49 PM
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