Pennsauken, NJ, June 20, 2015 --(PR.com
)-- Building on the momentum of its 2014 Summer Meals Program, the Food Bank of South Jersey (FBSJ) is increasing its efforts to assure that more children from low-income families receive nutritious meals when schools are in recess this summer. The area’s largest emergency food provider has committed to directly preparing and delivering healthy snacks and meals daily to 1,600 children attending camp sites and youth programs located across all four counties in FBSJ’s service area.
Last year, FBSJ was able to help 1,300 children through its Summer Meals Program (SMP). FBSJ administers and executes all facets of the labor-intensive SMP through its direct services staff and in conjunction with several hundred trained volunteers who assist with daily food preparation, deliveries, and more. The State of New Jersey Department of Agriculture awarded FBSJ with a Champion of Feeding Certificate in recognition of its 2014 program.
The 2015 SMP begins June 22 and runs through August 28. FBSJ anticipates delivering more than 100,000 meals to children aged five through seventeen at 45 sites in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Salem counties.
“Few programs galvanize our staff and our volunteer community like Summer Meals,” noted FBSJ CEO Val Traore. “The children that we reach are vulnerable and their families absolutely need us to bridge the gap for the 10 weeks when school assistance programs turn off.”
According to a recent Food Research and Action Center (www.frac.org) report – Hunger Doesn’t Take A Vacation – nearly 1 in 6 low-income children nationally participated in summer nutrition programs last year. Participation in summer nutrition programs has been on the rise for consecutive years in New Jersey, where 1 in 5 children are classified as food-insecure.
Critical Support from the Corporate Community
Local corporations and philanthropic organizations have generously stepped forward to help FBSJ fund and improve the efficiency of its 2015 SMP. Virtua Healthcare is donating the use of commercial kitchen space at one of its Camden facilities, providing a convenient focal point for sandwich preparation and food storage.Bimbo Bakeries USA – the country’s largest baking company – is donating 400 loaves of whole wheat bread weekly. WW Smith Charitable Trust awarded a significant grant to help offset SMP costs, and Holman Automotive Group likewise provided a generous donation.
“The more we learned about FBSJ’s Summer Meals Program and its impact, the more we wanted to play our part in helping it to succeed and grow,” stated Scott Smith, Territory Sales Manager at Bimbo Bakeries USA.
Companies and volunteers who wish to help FBSJ execute its 2015 SMP can contact Falynn Milligan at 856-662-4884 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Food Bank of South Jersey
A member of Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization, The Food Bank of South Jersey (FBSJ) is the leader in providing safe and nutritional food to people in need throughout South Jersey. FBSJ distributes food, provides nutrition education and cooking courses, and helps food insecure families and seniors find sustainable ways to improve their lives. To learn more visit www.foodbanksj.org.