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Peabody students deliver meals to local seniors
March 29, 2024

Salem News Staff

PEABODY — Students from Captain Samuel Brown Elementary School recently spent their day off delivering meals to older adults who live near their school, accompanied by AgeSpan Nutrition Manager Rebecca Kay and a handful of parents.

“The kids were brimming with excitement,” Kay said. “Some even took the extra step to write heartwarming notes like ‘Have a great day!’ and attached them to the meal packages.”

March is National Nutrition Month, and AgeSpan enlists Community Champions like these kids and their parents to raise awareness about the importance of the Meals on Wheels program as part of its #SaveLunch campaign. The program serves 3,000 older adults daily across the North Shore and Merrimack Valley providing them with a meal, daily wellness check, and a friendly visit.

Kay was inspired to organize the student group when she saw the effect delivering meals had on her son, Graham, who delivered meals with her during school vacation. Believing others could benefit, she encouraged Graham to reach out to his friends.

“I knew how much fun he had delivering with me and how, when the people see him, they light up,” Rebecca Kay said. “I wanted to get others involved.”

The group consisted of children: Graham Kay, Mason Archibald, JJ Tufo, Myra Garcia, Avriana Martin, Brayden Martin, Kyle DaSilva, Vinny Carbone, Izzy Ridley, Marty Garcia, and Mathew Tufo. and parents: Ian Kay, Lucy Ridley, Traci Archibald, Andrea Tufo, Michelle Garcia, and Danielle Martin.

At left, Poomara Defillio with JJ Tufo, Vinny Carpone, and Mathew Tufo

They met across the street from the school and broke up into five smaller groups to deliver 32 meals, along with some intergenerational connection and lots of smiles.

“The kids learned it’s not just about delivering the meal,” Kay said. “It’s the small interaction of seeing and talking to someone that really matters the most. The time they spent probably made some of these peoples’ days or weeks.”

Third-grader Mason Archibald said he had a great time and would like to do it again. When asked what his favorite part was, he simply answered, “Everything.”

“He felt accomplished afterward,” Mason’s mother, Traci, said. “We talked about it on the drive home afterward. We both felt really good. We had a really good time.”

At left, AgeSpan’s Rebecca Kay and son, Graham, with Lucy and Izzy Ridley

Learn more about AgeSpan’s Nutrition and Meals Services at To volunteer as a Meals on Wheels driver, contact 978-651-3114 or email

First published in the Salem News March 29, 2024

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