WEYMOUTH (CBS) – One in 11 Massachusetts residents do not know where their next meal is coming from, according to the Greater Boston Food Bank. Statewide about 650,000 people are food insecure, which is defined as a lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members. Together with the Greater Boston Food Bank, Weymouth High School is working to change that.
“Food insecurity is a real thing that we deal with on a daily basis with a lot of our families and our students. I live here, I grew up here, I went through the school system and so to me it was really something that hit home as far as a great way to give back to our community,” Weymouth Superintendent Jennifer Curtis-Whipple told WBZ-TV.
Entering into it’s third year, the market is held the first Wednesday of every month at the Weymouth High School cafeteria and it’s run completely by volunteers. Most of them are school employees and students. There are no household income requirements or information required and anyone in the community can attend.
“This is just about having healthy options, being able to have resources that maybe will supplement what is needed for some families. For others it might just be a little bit extra or something they’re dropping off to a neighbor or a friend,” Curtis-Whipple said.
At the Weymouth Market everyone gets in line and fills up a bag including the volunteers and administrators. Curtis-Whipple says it’s all in an effort to reduce the stigma around free food.
“We want everyone going through the line. Any sort of pressure that they’re worried about being there or having someone see them there, it’s gone, because it’s not about income levels. It’s about gathering together as a community and giving back and being together. There’s typically music playin, .it’s a little bit of a different vibe to it and that’s something we work really hard to make sure were offering. We want it to be a community event,” she said.
The market feeds about 400 local families every month. Wednesdays now seem to have a different meaning in Weymouth, not only for the people who attend but for the people who volunteer.
“It’s always the highlight of my month to be able to volunteer here,” said student Taylor Whipple. “If we can help people why not help them? Especially if they’re a part of the community.”
A bus is also provided which leaves from the Chapman Middle School and will drive people to the high school market and back.
For more information, visit the town web site or the Weymouth Public School Administration building at 111 Middle Street.