According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1 in 5 children in the United States lives in a home that struggles to put food on its table, with New Jersey ranking 44 in the nationwide percentage of "food-insecure children". Since 2013, up to 695,000 or more children in New Jersey out of 21 million US students get free or reduced price school lunches.
The Family Packs Program – originally operated throughout the school year, now runs year round for those who need our help. The Summit Area YMCA partners with local organizations like the Community FoodBank of New Jersey to run The Family Packs Program, which distributes food for supplemental meals every week to local families and children.
Every week, Summit Area YMCA volunteers serve as drivers to deliver the fresh and shelf stable food to designated schools and families in the Summit area. For those in school, teachers and school staff discreetly place the packages in the backpacks of students enrolled in the program most of whom receive free or reduced-priced school meals during the school week but who may not have access to food over the weekend.
Volunteers are needed every Thursday morning to pick up food from the Community FoodBank of NJ in Hillside and deliver to designated Summit Schools.
As part of our mission, the Summit Area YMCA (SAY) partners with local organizations to supply food to families and community members in order to provide support and inspiring action in our community. With our dedicated staff, volunteers, and local partners, the SAY donates fresh and nonperishable food at least twice a month to local community members in the Summit area who have stressed the financial need for essential food and supplies.
If you would like to bring our attention to any under-served needs within our community, causes you support or get involved by becoming a community partner or volunteer, please fill out the form below.