Norwalk affords free meals at a dozen areas to children ‘to fight summertime meals insecurity’

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NORWALK— Kids can take pleasure in free breakfasts and lunches throughout their break by the Summer season Meals Service Program, due to the Norwalk Public Colleges, in collaboration with the Norwalk Well being Division.

Funded by the U.S. Division of Agriculture, this system affords free meals to kids age 18 and beneath.

Chartwells Eating gives the wholesome meals, making ready the chilly meals in accordance with federal diet pointers, in response to Angela Valentin, resident district supervisor for the corporate.

“They observe all of the USDA pointers with the grains, protein, fruit and veggies, after which milk,” Valentin stated. “We picked a few the favourite [meals] that we noticed all through the varsity 12 months.”

This system, which town has run since 2010, fills a necessity in the neighborhood, she stated.

“It is such an exquisite alternative for households and for Norwalk kids to cut back starvation, to fight summertime meals insecurity,” she stated. “And actually sort of assist the well being of our kids once they’re not accessing meals throughout [summertime].”

On weekdays, kids can entry free lunches and breakfasts at roughly 12 public areas throughout town, no questions requested, in response to Kelley Tomlinson, a well being educator on the Norwalk Well being Division.

“Children can include a mother or father or guardian, or siblings can take different siblings,” Tomlinson stated. “They may arrive on the websites and get a free meal [to] eat on web site, after which can go on with their day. … It is simply the chance to obtain a free nutritious meal.”

Children may come alone for a meal, stated Valentin, who has seen some come by on bicycles. However she stated she advises getting a mother or father’s permission.

“They do not essentially have to have an grownup with them, they’ll simply are available in after which decide up a meal,” Valentin stated. “One of many nice issues (about this system) is with the ability to have entry to a well-balanced meal, particularly fruit and veggies.”

This system’s leaders take suggestions from the neighborhood and attempt to “open websites in strolling distance of a variety of neighborhoods,” she stated.

Past suggestions, Valentin stated she and Tomlinson can be found to deal with dietary restrictions ought to kids coming to a location want lodging.

The method to accommodate dietary restrictions is easy, she stated.

“I’d attain out to whoever is supervising meal distribution and preparation, simply letting them know, ‘Hey, you have got a toddler that’s possibly gluten free, or, they cannot have dairy,’” Valentin stated. “They provide you with another for them.”

In the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, kids might take the meals residence, however they’re now required to eat on-site, Valentin stated. This rule is per state laws to ensure the meals are going to kids, as this system intends, she stated.

As this system solely affords breakfast and lunch on weekdays, Tomlinson stated there are different packages to alleviate meals insecurity on weekends and within the night.

Filling within the Blanks, a Connecticut program, affords summer season meal pickup for college students.

For extra assets, Tomlinson stated there are different meals service packages within the metropolis and state that may be discovered at 211 Connecticut, by calling 211 or visiting

To register for Filling within the Blanks, go to For extra meals packages, go to the Norwalk Well being Division’s Meals Entry Web page at

To deal with dietary restrictions, contact Angela Valentin at or Kelley Tomlinson at

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