2017 BOOKS


"Lunch on the Lawn" to offer free meals to students 18 and younger

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced Boston will host free summer meals for students on City Hall Plaza July 5 through August 25. In collaboration with Boston Public Schools, Property Management, the Mayor's Office of Food Initiatives and the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics, Mayor Walsh will welcome young people 18 and under to enjoy summer activities on City Hall Plaza and pick up a lunch at no cost. The program will run from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Monday through Friday on a first-come, first-served basis.

"We know that for our students to succeed, they need resources to support them," said Mayor Walsh. "That's why we're expanding the Summer Lunch program to Boston City Hall, which will allow even more students to participate in this important program. I encourage students this summer to visit one of free lunch sites available to them throughout Boston."

The City Hall Plaza summer meals site will enable young people working in and near City Hall -- including those who are part of Boston's Summer Jobs program -- to access a nutritious free lunch at no cost to them. While enjoying their meal, young people are invited to enjoy the picnic tables and other plaza furniture provided by Berkshire Bank.

"We have to do all we can to ensure our students are healthy and ready to learn, and that includes outreach over the summer," said BPS Superintendent Tommy Chang. "Having a centralized location at City Hall helps our ongoing mission of serving students breakfast and lunch at more than 100 sites throughout the City. I'd like to thank Mayor Walsh for supporting us in this important effort."

"Lunch on the Lawn" is part of the Boston Public Schools summer meals program. The summer meals program is a USDA initiative that is administered in Massachusetts by the Department of Education. The Boston Public Schools will sponsor the site, in addition to over 100 other sites around the City. The program does not require pre-enrollment or registration, and there is no ID required to receive a meal. All young people 18 and under are invited to pick up lunch at summer meal sites throughout the City. The program has been in operation in Boston since 1996.

"From parks to schools to City Hall, free meals will be available in over 100 locations in Boston this summer, and we look forward to serving all young people who come by a Summer Meals site," said Jaclyn Youngblood, a member of the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics and site supervisor of the City Hall Plaza Summer Meal site.

"Last summer, we served over 400,000 meals to young people, and this year, we're looking forward to reaching that number again," said Laura Benavidez, Executive Director of Boston Public Schools Food and Nutrition Services. "These nourishing meals help ensure our young people are healthy in order to build upon their learning and enjoy their summer experiences here in Boston."

To see a full list of open sites this summer, click here, visit bostonpublicschools.org, or text "meal" to 877-877.




Mayor Walsh welcomed students to Youth Enrichment Day; announced winning "Youth Lead the Change" Participatory Budgeting Projects

Confirming Boston's commitment to creating opportunities for Boston's students, Mayor Martin J. Walsh today hosted 2,000 Boston youth at the City's Fourth Annual Youth Enrichment Day. The event included a speaking program, with Mayor Walsh as the keynote speaker, followed by enrichment workshops for youth employees hired through the SuccessLink Mayor's Summer Jobs Program. The event was held at Boston University's Agganis Arena. All students who participated in the Enrichment program will be employed by the City of Boston this summer.

"As a City, we're proud to recognize our hardworking teens and the commitment they've made to grow this summer," said Mayor Walsh. "Our young people have the power to change our City, especially through the Youth Lead the Change Participatory Budgeting Process. One of our top priorities is always finding new opportunities for youth to gain valuable experiences and skills to help build strong futures."

The theme of the event was "Grab the Wheel" and the remarks and workshops focused on the importance of seizing opportunities, taking on leadership roles and putting aside fear of failure or unfamiliarity.

During the speaking program, the youth listened to talks from Mayor Walsh; Boston Centers for Youth & Families Commissioner, William Morales; Boston's Chief of Health & Human Services, Felix Arroyo; and Boston University Associate Provost and Dean of Students, Kenneth Elmore. After the speaking program, students participated in professional and personal development workshops in Financial Literacy in partnership with Junior Achievement, and Trauma & Resilience: Knowledge, strategies & resources for managing stress and building resilience facilitated by the Boston Public Health Commission. 

The students who attended Youth Enrichment Day will be working across the City in a variety of jobs such as staffing summer camps and programs, working at Boston's museums and cultural locations, supporting businesses downtown and more. The workshops provided the youth -- many of whom have never held a job before -- with the tools for success at work, how to make better decisions with the money they will earn and addressed the important topic of dealing with trauma with the older youth at the event.

"Working during the summer has introduced me to amazing people, taught me how to act in a professional setting and helped me decide what I want to do in the future," said Cheyenne Paterson, a 16-year-old student from Dorchester who attends Latin Academy.

At Youth Enrichment Day, Mayor Walsh also announced the winning Capital projects to be funded by $1 million of the City's budget. Boston youth ages 12-25 selected and voted on the projects through Youth Lead the Change. The projects to be funded are:

"Get Hired" Truck, a resource truck devoted to provide youth with the ability to search for jobs, build/modify resumes, and give them access to search and apply for jobs;

Informative Homeless Resources, a digital billboard displaying resources and job opportunities available to the homeless youth;

Performing and Visual Arts Studio, a space where people of all ages can come together and create all types of art;

Future Media Center, a space that would contain recent technology that would otherwise be unavailable to most students;

Youth Retail Space, a mobile retail space for youth entrepreneurs.

Mayor Walsh has made youth summer employment a priority for his Administration, pledging to place 10,000 Boston youth in meaningful summer employment. In the fiscal year 2017 budget, Mayor Walsh allocated over $5 million to fund youth jobs through the BCYF Division of Youth Engagement & Employment. In addition to SuccessLink, several partnering organizations help the City to hire youth through the Mayor's Summer Jobs Program.