LOWELL — Community Teamwork Inc. of Lowell has teamed up with national food service provider Aramark and Lowell Public Schools to provide fresh produce monthly to Lowell families in need at a STEM Academy-based food pantry.
For the last five years, the food service company has helped supply around 40 pounds of food per family at the school’s food pantry, according to Aramark Director of Food and Nutrition at Lowell Public Schools Sharon Lagasse.
As part of the collaboration, CTI YouthBuild members, ages 16 to 24, will help set up and run the pantry, which functions much like a farmer’s market. In addition, Aramark will provide nutritional and educational lessons to CTI after-school programs.
The goal, according to a CTI news release, is to teach students to make healthy, seasonal food choices, support local agriculture.
Aramark and CTI kicked off the after-school lessons Sept. 17, on Aramark Building Community Day. The group made peach salsa from scratch, with tomatoes from Mill City Grows.
“We make cooking and playing with food and learning about food,” Lagasse said.
The food pantry is open to anyone in the community, Lagasse said. And many of the pantry’s options are healthy, or locally grown.
“Being able to have an access to fresh and nutritious food is really important,” CTI Grants Manager and Planning Amy Weatherbee said. Most of the food comes from the Greater Boston Food Bank.