Despite its faults, Boston, compared to some places I’ve lived, seems to do the occasional decent thing for the least among us:
For the first time Friday, the School Department sent a truck stocked with about 600 lunches to three locations across the city.
The food truck, which does not charge for meals, is the latest addition to the summer program that provides breakfasts and lunches to more than 11,000 young people each day at more than 120 community centers and schools.
“It seemed like a wonderful way to expand, as not all the kids in Boston are at traditional sites during the summer,” Michael Peck, the School Department’s director of food and nutrition services, said after the truck doled out 247 lunches Friday near Franklin Park Zoo, its final stop of the day. Among the offerings: chicken Cobb salad and fresh wraps.
The truck also served lunches at the Christian Science Plaza and Carson Beach in South Boston. Breakfasts were handed out in the morning at White Stadium, in Franklin Park.
Unlike a commercial truck, where customers are served from a big window in the vehicle, the school’s truck transports the food to the site, and employees then set up a table to serve children.
The School Department serves free breakfast and lunch as part of the USDA Summer Food Service Program. While demand is steady, fewer summer meals are served than the free or reduced-price meals students are served during the school year, Peck said.
To close that gap, the department has launched an advertising campaign to promote the summer meals program and is pursuing nontraditional approaches, such as the food truck, to reach more students.
When one party has a perpetual hard on for killing funding for Meals on Wheels, a mostly-volunteer program that provides meals to the elderly, when despising the impoverished, it is good to see people working together–and that is what a commonwealth is–to help the less fortunate.
Yes, helping these kids now will help the rest of us in the future. But that’s not why we do this. We do this simply because it is the right thing to do. If you don’t get that, if you have to justify this in economic terms, then you’re missing circuits in your head.
Lots of people, or enough anyway, will react well in the face of sudden adversity (e.g., the Marathon bombings). But real strength consists of day in, day out, being compassionate and kind to those who need help. Maybe that’s not Boston Strong, but it is Boston Solidarity. And that too is something to be proud of.