RFD serves up meals and fun to children in Starksboro

STARKSBORO — Since 2014, the Rural Fun Delivery (RFD) program has provided free, nutritious meals and engaging activities every weekday during the summer to youth ages 18 and younger in underserved communities in Starksboro.
This summer, RFD will serve at least 85-90 youth every day across three mobile home communities — Lazy Brook, Hillside and Brookside. The program will run Monday through Friday, June 25-Aug. 10, except July 4th. Additionally, RFD offers afternoon programming once a week at each of the three sites.
Free lunches will be served at the following times: Brookside, 11:20 a.m.; Lazy Brook, 12:10 p.m.; and Hillside, 12:50 p.m.
Special weekly afternoon activities are tentatively scheduled for Hillside on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m., Brookside on Wednesdays at 1:45 p.m., and Lazy Brook on Thursdays at 1:30 p.m.
Anne Gleason, School-Age Programs Coordinator at Mary Johnson Children’s Center, started the program to serve remote locations in Addison County. She envisioned the program as an opportunity to bring healthy meals to kids without the ability to travel to a food distribution center, to facilitate social connections, and, most importantly, to allow kids to be kids. She notes that RFD has continually changed and adapted over the past five years and is excited to see where the program managers will take the program this summer.
Since its inception, RFD has partnered with a number of local service organizations to achieve its goals. St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Middlebury has generously donated a portion of its annual Peasant Market proceeds to the program for the past five years. Additionally, Kathy Alexander, director of the Mount Abraham Union School District Food Service Cooperative, has played a crucial role in shaping the program by offering her nutritional expertise and working to prepare daily lunches across Addison county.
Each summer, the program is run by two program managers, one of whom is a Middlebury College student interning through Middlebury college’s Privilege and Poverty academic cluster. This summer, Claiborne Beary, a rising junior at the college, will be serving as one of the program managers. She is a native of New Orleans who studies International Global Studies, French and Arabic, and volunteers with the Page One Literacy Project. Beary is looking forward to engaging kids in summer reading, group art projects and classic outdoor summer games.
Anyone interested in learning more about the RFD program or you would like to find a detailed schedule go online to ruralfundelivery.org or check out RFDVT on Facebook.

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