Vantaa will have a trial of summertime meals for children and young people in Myyrmäki and Havukoski
In June, the City of Vantaa will start a trial of summertime meals in the Vihertie resident park in Myyrmäki and in the Rautkallio park in Havukoski. The purpose of the trial is to invest in the well-being of families with children in Vantaa, to increase communal unit in the areas, and to ease the everyday life of children and young people during the summer vacation. A free lunch is available in the parks on weekdays from 3 June to 12 July at 11:30 AM for children and young people under 18 years old.
— We are waiting expectantly to see what kind of reception the new activity will receive. Vantaa has not had summertime meals except for a few trials. Myyrmäki and Havukoski were chosen as sites because both areas have lots of children and young people living there, as well as staff and adequate facilities and park areas fitting for the activity, said director Sole Askola-Vehviläinen of the Early Education Department.
The parks offer a framework for moving about, games and playing. The meal will gather children and young people together and will make it possible to spend a longer than normal time outside, when there is food available on the side.
— The food for the Rautkallio park will be prepared by the young people of the kitchen workshop who are participating in work practice and the workshop activity of Youth Services. Thus, young people from Vantaa will be providing services themselves for the area’s children and young people. The objective of the workshop is to strengthen the young people’s readiness for employment and arranging the summertime meals is a good way for the young people to get a feel for working life. Summertime employees have also been employed to arrange the summertime meals, said director Riikka Åstrand of Youth Services.
The participants in the meals are to take their own dining utensils to the meal: a plate and spoon. You must also bring your own beverage for the meal, only water will be provided at the summertime meal. It is preferable that you bring other than single use utensils, for example plastic bowls. This way, we will act ecologically and decrease the amount of rubbish resulting from the meal.
The food will be lactose-free, but it is not possible to take other special menu arrangements into consideration. The menus for the summertime meals can be seen on the Vihertie resident park’s Facebook page and on the nuortenvantaa social media channels and web page of the Youth Services.
The cost of the summertime meal trial is estimated to be 25,000 euros. After the summer, the Education Department will assess the success of the summertime meal together with the children and the children’s guardians, as well as with Vantti Oy, who will provide the food for the Vihertie resident park. The expansion or regularization of the activity in subsequent years would require taking the expenses into account in forming the budget.