City Hall Plaza serving up for free lunch for youth

BOSTON — Starting Tuesday at City Hall Plaza, any child under the age of 18 will be able to get a free lunch.

The "Lunch on the Lawn" is a new program that will offer a free "healthy" lunch every day to any child who shows up, no identification needed.

The city said the meals will be served on a first come, first served basis from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The goal of the program is to make free, healthy meals more available in downtown Boston. Along with the food, children can play games on the lawn and enjoy free music on Tuesdays with Tuesday Tunes.

On the first Tuesday, the lunch consisted of a turkey and cheese sandwich and milk.

"In the city of Boston alone, we have a very high need, over 60 percent of our children are receiving some sort of assistance," said Laura Benavidez of BPS Food and Nutrion Services.

Boston Public Schools says 15 percent of students' families don't have money or access to enough food. For the thousands of students who get lunch at school during the school year, summer can mean no food.

The program is run by the Mayor's Office of Food Access, City Hall Property Management and Boston Public Schools.