TAUNTON — Young individuals can get pleasure from free nutritious meals and snacks after faculty at the YMCA in Taunton due to the Teen Nutrition Program, Old Colony YMCA Teen Nutrition Program coordinator Louann Davis stated.
“There is house for the children to do homework, socialize and play video video games,” she stated. “It’s a secure house for them.”
Davis stated the meals and snacks are served from 3:30 p.m. to eight p.m. in a eating room.
“We present 5 scorching meals every week on Monday by Friday,” she stated. “They can have snacks and drinks.”
Davis stated there are roughly 45 teenagers who take part each day within the Teen Nutrition Program, which started in November for teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 years outdated. The majority are from Taunton, however there are additionally some from Raynham, she stated.
Davis stated YMCA officers started the Teen Nutrition Program in November 2022 in response to recognizing a need for teens to have nutritious meals and snacks.
“We didn’t notice how critical it was till we began giving out meals,” she added.
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Teen Nutrition Program meal and snack choices
Davis stated for the final two months Teen Nutrition has been buying the meals from Home Plate, a restaurant with a sports activities bar theme on Bay Street.
“I requested the children the place they needed me to order meals from, and so they stated Home Plate,” she stated.
Home Plate co-owner Natalie Anderson stated the teenagers’ request to have extra meals served from her restaurant “was a pleasant praise for kitchen employees.”
“We have tried to supply a wide range of meals and tried to make it enjoyable and wholesome for the children,” she stated. “We’ve executed all the pieces from Caesar salads, grilled hen, hen parm over penne and pasta and pulled pork sandwiches with apple sauce. We have executed stir fry and vegan meals. We have made hen broccoli.”
Home Plate Chef Shannon Woodward stated the teenagers have additionally been served Italian stuffed shells, hen Alfredo, pizza, American chop suey and meatloaf.
“It’s wonderful to present the children entry to completely different flavored meals,” he stated.
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Woodward stated the cooks “are into” making nutritious meals for the children. He stated they serve the meals in particular person containers to assist the teenagers “seize a meal and go about no matter their exercise is on the Y.”
“They are boxed for the children to choose up at their leisure,” he stated.
Home Plate co-owner Robert Anderson stated the teenagers’ request for his restaurant to serve meals on the YMCA is much like what many mother and father expertise.
“Kids usually demand the place they wish to exit to eat,” he stated. “We all the time attempt to exit of our solution to carry households into our restaurant.”
Anderson stated Home Plate plans to supply free meals for youths who’re accompanied by their mother and father on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 14, 21 and 28.
“The mother and father should pay for no matter they order, however their children will get a free meal,” he stated. “We are doing that due to the financial craziness. Every household wants a break occasionally.”
Food favorites at Old Colony YMCA
Taunton resident Lisandro Lopes, 13, who likes to play basketball and go swimming, stated he enjoys the hen Alfredo and hen tenders that Home Plate has served.
“I come right here virtually on daily basis,” he stated.
Taunton resident Felix Castrillo, 13, who additionally likes swimming and basketball, stated he enjoys the hen nuggets and pizza.
“I’m grateful I can get it at no cost,” he stated. “I often come right here on daily basis.”
Taunton resident Riley Sheehan, 16, stated he likes taking part in basketball frequently on the YMCA.
“I’m grateful they began the meals plan, and I just like the individuals answerable for it,” he stated.
A brand new youth basketball program
Davis stated children within the Teen Nutrition Program may be part of a brand new basketball program scheduled to start on Feb. 11.
“It might be a crew program that might be held on Thursday nights by May,” she stated. “The children will not must pay to play. There might be referees, and the video games might be like common video games.”
Old Colony YMCA Program Coordinator Dylan Kehoe stated teenagers between ages 13-17 may register to play by finishing registration kinds on the YMCA or emailing him at [email protected].
“It will give the children a secure surroundings to play with their pals,” he stated.
Southcoast Community Foundation grants $60,000 for Teen Nutrition Program
Old Colony YMCA Executive Director Roman Davis stated the Teen Nutrition Program is being funded by a $60,000 grant from Southcoast Community Foundation, a New Bedford-based non-profit.
“This program will run till the top of September 2023,” he stated. “We will search to use to Southcoast Community Foundation once more subsequent 12 months to proceed this system and search different grant alternatives in the event that they come up.”
Davis stated the Teen Nutrition Program is “top-of-the-line packages” created on the Old Colony YMCA department in Taunton.
“The teenagers of our metropolis deserve the most effective,” he added.
Parents can enroll their baby in Teen Nutrition by calling Louann Davis at 508-823-3320 or emailing [email protected].