Updated Food Distribution Days and Access

Food and Nutrition Resources
Posted on 05/19/2020

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Everyone in Salem qualifies for food assistance. Whether you were already receiving it, or it is new to you, we have many options to help. If you have questions or new needs for food support, you can call 781-771-0724 and a Salem Public Schools staff member will assist you.

We currently have 15 community-based sites for distribution of breakfast and lunch for all kids in Salem. Our food distribution sites also act as distribution sites for Salem Pantry and will also include a new program called Farmers to Families. This USDA supported program partners with local area farms and produce distributors to supply access to fresh fruits and vegetables to families with kids in Salem. A food assistance “cheat-sheet” can be found here.

Paper Packets, Student Meals and Food Support

Pre-printed paper packets of the school materials on this website are available for pick-up at the food distribution sites. Times and locations below.

While we have been serving these meals Monday-Friday since the start of school closure, we will be switching to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule beginning May 26th. Breakfast and lunch for seven days a week will still be served, but you will now receive multiple meals on each visit.

Breakfast and lunch are available to all children under the age of 18, regardless of which school you attend, from 9:00 am-11:00 am, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays only, at the following school locations:

  • Bates School – side door to the cafeteria, facing the playground
  • Bentley Academy – gym door near the big parking lot
  • Carlton Innovation School – main entrance
  • Collins Middle School – main entrance
  • Horace Mann Elementary School – second-floor entrance on the SHS side of the building, near the field
  • Saltonstall – behind the school at the cafeteria entrance by the playground
  • Witchcraft Elementary School – main entrance 

In addition to the school distribution, breakfast and lunch will be delivered by our transportation department for pick up between 9:00 am-10:00 am on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to any City of Salem child under the age of 18 in the following locations:

  • 1000 Loring Towers
  • Pequot Highlands @First St.
  • Palmer Cove Park
  • Rainbow Terrace @ 2 Rainbow Terrace
  • Salem Heights
  • Mack Park @ Tremont St. (9:45-10:15am)
  • Salem Common (9:00-9:30am)

Salem Public Schools families are eligible for a pandemic EBT (P-EBT) card

This card will entitle each child to $28.50 worth of groceries each week and is anticipated to be distributed in May. If your family doesn’t need this benefit, funds will NOT be redistributed to others. If you want to donate the money you save on your groceries by using this card to families in need, there are local food distribution agencies that are taking donations at this time. Local agencies include the Salem Relief Fund, Citizens Inn/Haven from Hunger, or the Salem Food Pantry, all of which help families in Salem.

All SPS student families will receive this assistance because we are a 100% free lunch district. This assistance is in addition to and not a replacement for the meals provided at our food distribution sites. For more information, please visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/pandemic-ebt-p-ebt

Some facts about this program:

  • Families will get $5.70 per student per day of school closure. This will be delivered in a lump sum amount of about $200 to cover the 35 days that schools have been closed through May 1. Additional benefits will be issued now that schools are closed for the remainder of the academic year.
  • Families receiving SNAP will receive the increase on their regular EBT card. Families not receiving SNAP will receive P-EBT cards by mail. Cards will be issued in the student’s name and will require a PIN to buy food at grocers accepting EBT. Due to administrative constraints, households with more than one student will receive a card for each student.
  • P-EBT are not SNAP benefits and will not receive the Healthy Incentive Program (HIP).
  • Funds will remain on the card for 365 days.
  • You may use cards at farmer’s markets.
  • Please note, funds will not be redistributed to others if you choose not to participate. Issuance begins this week and is rolling.

Farmers to Families Food Boxes

As part of the Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program, the USDA is purchasing and distributing agricultural products to those in need. USDA has partnered with regional and local distributors, whose workforce has been significantly impacted by the closure of many restaurants, hotels, and other foodservice entities, to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables to distribute to families. Area farms and distributors participated in a proposal process to determine program approval.

Salem Public Schools, through a partnership with approved USDA program participants Costa Produce Company, New Entry at Moraine Farms, and Boston Area Gleaners, will be distributing boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables at our school-based food distribution sites.

These locations include:

  • Bates School
  • Bentley Academy
  • Carlton Innovation School
  • Collins Middle School
  • Horace Mann Elementary School
  • Saltonstall
  • Witchcraft Elementary School

Farmers to Families food boxes will be available at the same time that our breakfast and lunch distribution is taking place, from 9 am-11 am.

Boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables will be offered weekly at no cost at least through June, and possibly through August, and will be available on Friday only. These boxes will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis and once they are gone, they are gone.

For more information about this program, please visit: https://www.ams.usda.gov/selling-food-to-usda/farmers-to-families-food-box

Salem Food Pantry

The Salem Pantry is partnering with Salem Public Schools to provide weekly grocery distribution. Please bring a photo ID and recent piece of mail with current address, as proof of Salem residence.

Groceries are limited and will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis on the following days:

  • Mon: Salem Heights, Saltonstall, Bates
  • Wed: Rainbow Terrace, Witchcraft Heights, Carlton
  • Fri: Loring Towers, Pequot Highlands

Salem Food Pantry is also accepting donated food items. Their most needed items include:

  • Canned chicken
  • Canned tuna
  • Pasta (any kind)
  • Rice
  • Dried beans
  • Cereal (low-sugar, like Kix, Cheerios—under 10g sugar per serving)
  • Shelf-stable milk
  • Peanut butter


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