Operation Nourish is a children’s feeding program in the Lowell Public Schools. What started in 2011 as a pilot program at the Lincoln Elementary School has expanded to serve students throughout 16 schools. Selected Students at the Bartlett, Greenhalge, Lincoln, Moody, Morey, Murkland, STEM Academy at the Rogers School and the Washington Elementary Schools receive a bag of nutritious food twice a month on selected Fridays to reduce weekend hunger.
Additionally, the MVFB provides a box of healthy snacks and beverages monthly to the Nurse or Guidance Office at the B.R.I.D.G.E Program at the David J. McHugh Alternative Middle School, Lowell High Freshmen Academy, Lowell High Literacy Lab, Stoklosa & Robinson Middle Schools and Middlesex Community College – Out Of School Youth Program. We recently assisted students in Ms Lander’s Generation Citizens Class with opening a food pantry in Lowell High School’s B House called the “Mill Market.”
Like other impoverished communities, the City of Lowell continues to experience a high rate of children receiving supplemental food from emergency food providers. For the past three years children under the age of 18 have consistently represented nearly one third of the recipients obtaining food from Lowell’s food pantries and meal programs. In 2017 our Summer Lunch program served 9,862 lunches and snacks to Lowell youth.
National research shows that children who eat regular healthy meals have a greater attention span and ability to learn, exhibit higher test scores, and have fewer physical and mental health problems. An investment in children’s health is an investment in our country’s economic health. Children, whose bodies and brains are in their most rapid period of growth, are vulnerable to even short-term deprivation. Operation Nourish is working to ensure that Lowell students have the basic building blocks for healthy bodies and minds.