The Open Door  
Julie LaFontaine, President and CEO  
28 Emerson Ave.,  
Gloucester, MA 01930  

Media Contact: Kelsey Richards 
Phone: 978-283-6776 x 226 

Friday June 14, 2024 

The Open Door to Provide Thousands of

Meals for Local Kids this Summer

The Open Door Summer Meals for Kids interns, from left: Magdalena Smyth, AJ Porcello, Jenna Church, and Wei Wang. (Photo Courtesy of The Open Door)

GLOUCESTER— With the school year at its close, The Open Door free Summer Meals for Kids program is poised to begin next week.  

Children and teens age 18 and under are welcome to visit any of the participating sites during scheduled hours to receive free, nutritious meals through late August while school is out.   

“The flip side to the sunshine and free time that summer brings is the financial burden of breakfast and lunch for kids, who can otherwise get those meals at school. Free Summer Meals for Kids takes the pressure of families already struggling financially, so that kids can stay nourished and return to school in the fall healthy and happy,” President and CEO Julie LaFontaine said.  

Last year, The Open Door Summer Meals for Kids program distributed more than 15,300 meals to children on the North Shore, prepared entirely in-house.  

Meals will be available at select sites as early as Monday, June 17. Participating sites include: 

Gloucester Walk-Up Locations: 

The Open Door at 28 Emerson Avenue 
Breakfast and Lunch from June 17- Aug. 23 
Mondays from 9:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 
Tuesday and Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 
Thursday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. 

Riverdale Park at 69 Veterans’ Way 
Breakfast and Lunch from June 17- Aug. 23 

Monday through Friday from 12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. 

Willowood Gardens at 40 Willowood Road 
Breakfast and Lunch from June 17- Aug. 23 

Monday through Friday from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. 

Pond View Village at 23 Lepage Lane 
Breakfast and Lunch from June 17 – Aug. 23 

Mondays through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. 

Gloucester High at 32 Leslie O. Johnson Road 
Lunch from July 9 – Aug. 8  

Monday through Friday from 9:45 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. 

Field Days at Burnham’s Field with East Gloucester Community Church 
7/11, 7/18, 7/25, 8/1, 8/8, 8/15, 8/22, 8/29  

Lunch select Thursdays from 10:30 11:30 a.m. 

Story Hour at Sawyer Free Library with Backyard Growers 
7/11, 7/18, 7/25, 8/1, 8/8, 8/15, 8/22, 8/29  

Lunch select Thursdays from 10:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. 

Gloucester Enrolled Locations: 

  • O’Maley Academy at 32 Cherry Street (Breakfast and Lunch) 
  • Camp Spindrift at 27 Atlantic Street (Lunch) 
  • East Veterans School (Multiple Programs) at 11 Webster Street (Breakfast and Lunch) 
  • GPS Extended School Year 
  • Summer Learning 
  • Gordon STEAM Camp 

Ipswich Walk-Up Location: 
Ipswich Community Food Pantry at 00 Southern Heights in Ipswich 
Breakfast and Lunch from June 18 – Aug. 22  

Wednesday and Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
Open Tuesday June 18 and Tuesday July 2 due to holidays 

Ipswich Enrolled Location: 
Doyon Elementary School at 216 Linebrook Road in Ipswich  

Breakfast and Lunch 

The Open Door is proud to sponsor one federal Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) site this year at O’Maley Academy (more information on this below). The Open Door will privately fund at least 13 additional free Summer Meals for Kids sites where meals will be offered to children with flexibility and choice.  

The Open Door Summer Meals for Kids program strives to accommodate all allergies and special diets, and to learn more about the program or inform staff of a dietary need, please call 978-283-6776 or email

Meals may contain choking hazards for children under the age of four. 

The Open Door Sumer Meals for Kids schedule will be updated as needed throughout the summer at

About The Open Door  

The mission of The Open Door is to alleviate the impact of hunger in our community. We use practical strategies to connect people to good food, to advocate on behalf of those in need, and to engage others in the work of building food security. 

Founded in 1978, The Open Door is a 501 (c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit and community food resource center for low-income residents of Gloucester, Rockport, Manchester, Essex, Ipswich, Hamilton, Boxford, Rowley, Topsfield, and Wenham. In 2023, The Open Door helped stabilize the lives and health of 9,836 people from 4,952 households through the distribution of 1.98 million pounds of food. 

For more information, visit 

About the Summer Food Service Program 

The Open Door is participating in the Summer Food Service Program. Meals will be provided to all eligible children free of charge. To be eligible to receive free meals at a residential or non-residential camp or at a conditional rural non-congregate site, children must meet income guidelines for free or reduced price meals in the National School Lunch Program. To view the USDA’s income eligibility guidelines for the 2024-2025 school year, click here

Please note these guidelines ONLY apply to the O’Maley Academy site of The Open Door’s Summer Meals for Kids program this year, as that is the only site receiving SFSP funding this season.  

Foster children or children who are part of households that receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits or benefits under the Food Distribution Program or Indian Reservations (FDPIR), or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) are automatically eligible to receive free meals.   

Acceptance and participation requirements for the Program and all activities are the same for all children regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service. Meals will be provided, at a first come, first serve basis, at the sites and times listed below: 

  • O’Maley Academy at 32 Cherry Street from June 17-August 1 on Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. 

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at:, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:  

1. mail:  

U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or  

2. fax:  

(833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or  

3. email:  

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. 


The Open Door Summer Meals for Kids Coordinator Kristin Wellington.

(Photo Courtesy of The Open Door)
The Open Door Summer Meals for Kids interns, from left: Magdalena Smyth, AJ Porcello, Jenna Church, and Wei Wang. (Photo Courtesy of The Open Door)
Scroll to Top