The Lunch Box
A unique service for clients of Programs For People's Framingham Day Hospital program is the opportunity to work in a pre-vocational, supported work environment called, "The Lunch Box." This is just one component of the employment services available in the program. The application process for clients includes completing a job application, taking a Skills and Barriers Inventory, and participating in a Transition Meeting with staff to plan for their goals for use of The Lunch Box.
As a Lunch Box employee, workers learn to identify their strengths and recognize issues that may be barriers to employment at jobs in the community. Under the supervision and guidance of the Lunch Box Manager, workers face challenges and develop skills that will help them to eventually maintain employment in the community. Aside from receiving monetary compensation for working, there are many positive benefits associated with gainful employment: improved self esteem, increased motivation for work, a sense of being a contributing member of society, social contacts, and confidence in their abilities.
The Lunch Box has been operating for over 20 years as both a food service provider and a rehabilitation modality. Currently, it provides breakfast and lunch for clients and staff to buy at Programs For People, and employs about ten people who work a maximum of ten hours per week, utilizing the other services of Framingham Day Hospital during the hours that they are not scheduled to work. Roles include customer service, food preparation, cooking, cashiering, and cleaning, and the possibility of "moving up" to assume the role of "Assistant Manager."