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 – a collaboration among the Summit Area YMCA (the "SAY"), Community FoodBank of New Jersey, and The Junior League of Summit -- provides supplemental weekend meals to up to 140 hungry children in Summit receiving free or reduced-priced school meals during the school week but who may not have access to food over the weekend by discreetly providing the children with packs of food prepared by the FoodBank every Friday during the school year.
Every week, Summit Area YMCA Volunteers serve as drivers to deliver the packaged food to designated schools in the Summit area, while teachers and school staff discreetly place the packages in the backpacks of students enrolled in the program.
Since June 2020, the Summit Area YMCA worked with the Community FoodBank of New Jersey to continue providing healthy food packs to local families in need. With schools closed for the remainder of the school year, and unemployment on the rise due to COVID19 closures, families in NJ are now faced with food insecurity not only on weekends, but on a daily basis. With the Community Food Bank’s hours adjusted with a lower capacity for bagging food, the Summit Area YMCA has stepped in to fill the gap. Every week, the Food Bank sends pallets of food to the Y where volunteers then sort and bag approximately 400 bags of groceries that also include donations from the local community. These packs are then given out weekly to the community.
Consider gifting your time by becoming a Summit Area YMCA Volunteer today and help children from going hungry in our community.
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