Students everywhere count the days to summer break and school vacations — unless they depend on the food they get from the cafeteria.
Arlington EATS, a volunteer-led nonprofit, is dedicated to providing healthy food to school-age children during summer and school breaks, when the free or reduced-price lunches from cafeterias are not available. They also provide snacks during the school day in every Arlington public school, as well as at the Boys and Girls Club.
To help fund its services, the organization is hosting its third annual Beats for EATS event at Arlington Town Hall. The beats will be provided by Arlington blues and rock group The Social No. 11 and the dance band Soul City. Each admission ticket buys you two drinks and plenty of appetizers.
According to the Massachusetts Office for Food and Nutrition Programs, only neighborhoods where at least 50 percent of children qualify for free and reduced price lunch can apply for the federal summer food assistance program. Arlington doesn’t meet that threshold, but still has a population of more than 650 students with food insecurity, and so Arlington EATS was created.
“We tapped into a need that had been hidden before,” said Lauren Ledger, cofounder of Arlington EATS. “Beats for EATS is a way to further tell the community about this need. We have told Arlington, and now it’s time to expand and tell other communities. Every town in Massachusetts has kids who go hungry at night and when school is not in session. We are hopeful that our work here can serve as a model for other towns to address food scarcity.”
Beats for EATS will be held March 10 at 7 p.m. at Arlington Town Hall. Tickets range from $25 for school employees to $300 for a bring-your-friends pack of six. Buy them at www.arlington-eats.org/beats-for-eats-2018/Sophie Cannon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @the_grandCannon.