The Riverhead Central School District is now providing neighboring East End communities with free meals through the federally funded USDA Summer Food Service program.
“At no cost to our taxpayers, this program allows us to provide healthy lunches and breakfasts to anyone under the age of 19,” said interim Superintendent Christine Tona. “In these uncertain times, this is a service that we can offer to help ease the burden for many families across the East End of Long Island.”
Through the program, the Riverhead Central School District prepares thousands of packaged breakfasts and lunches that are available within the school district at Riverhead High School and Phillips Avenue Elementary School and delivered to neighboring districts, including Shoreham-Wading River, Eastport-South Manor, Westhampton Beach, Sag Harbor and Shelter Island, for distribution.
“These districts are unable to operate their own summer meals program, so we provide for them,” explained Keith Graham, Riverhead’s food services manager. “It is a win for everyone. We not only are supplying food to those in need, but are able to employ our food service workers.”
Packaging an abundance of breakfasts and lunches every day is a task that Riverhead has proven it can handle. While schools were shuttered due to COVID-19, the district continuously provided free, healthy meals to the Riverhead community. From March through June, the district dished out a whopping 68,075 meals. Many of those meals were dispatched to those in need by a team of bus drivers, who delivered them for pickup at several of the district’s schools and to locations around the community.
“It was a coordinated effort, full of teamwork and dedication,” said Graham.
Breakfast options through the summer program include milk yogurt, cereal and/or fresh bagels, while lunches contain a variety of sandwiches. The district is also offering meals that can be reheated, like meatballs and green beans.
The program will run through the summer in Riverhead from Monday through Friday, 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Participants can pick up their bagged to-go breakfasts and lunches at the Riverhead High School cafeteria entrance (Door 27) or at the Phillips Avenue cafeteria entrance (Door 18 at the side lot loop). Meals will be provided to anyone under the age of 19. No ID is required. Those looking to pick up meals at Shoreham-Wading River, Eastport-South Manor, Westhampton Beach, Sag Harbor and Shelter Island can contact those districts for distribution information.