Massachusetts Department of Education, USDA Partner with UMass Dining in Local Summer Food Service Program

BabyBerk truck

AMHERST, Mass. – The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Massachusetts DESE), in collaboration with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers the Summer Food Service Program, a federally funded, state-administered program. This summer, they will collaborate with UMass Dining’s BabyBerk food truck to serve healthy meals to children and teens at no charge.

The USDA provides funding and develops program regulations while the Massachusetts DESE monitors and trains partners like BabyBerk to process and administer the program on-site. The site locations are selected in advance using census data of children who are at-risk for hunger. The program is significant in helping youth access healthy food while school is not in session.

“We are honored that the Department of Education identified BabyBerk as a partner for this program. It’s fantastic that they will be able to fund such an innovative project,” says Ken Toong, executive director of UMass Amherst Auxiliary Enterprises.

The food truck will operate Monday, Wednesday and Friday between June 25 and Aug. 10, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., excluding the July 4 holiday. The truck will stop at eight different locations in the Amherst area, including seven apartment complexes and the Mill River Recreation Area. On average, BabyBerk hopes to serve 560 kids each day across all eight sites.

The food truck schedule will make stops at the following locations:

LOCATION                   ADDRESS                                    TIME
Rolling Green             1 Rolling Green Dr.                 10:30-10:45 a.m.
Colonial Village          81 Belchertown Rd.                11-11:20 a.m.
Butternut Farms         12 Longmeadow Dr.               11:40-11:50 a.m.
South Point                266 E. Hadley St.                    12:10-12:35 p.m.
Village Park                497 E. Pleasant St.                 1-1:30 p.m.
Olympia Oaks            85 Olympia Rd.                       1:55- 2:05 p.m.
North Village              990 N. Pleasant St.                 2:20-2:45 p.m.
Mill River Rec. Area   95 Montague Rd.                    3:10-3:30 p.m.

The BabyBerk food truck is part of UMass Dining’s award-winning dining program and can be followed @UMassBabyBerk on both Twitter and Facebook.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: Filing a Program Discrimination Complaint as a USDA Customer, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter 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;
2. fax:     (202) 690-7442; or
3. email:  program.intake@usda.gov

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Contact: Chris Fisher, 413/547-1365