It’s already August (I know, I can hardly believe it either!), making this month (for many) your final call to hit the beach, soak up the sun, and relax before the fall time hustle. At the Food Bank of South Jersey (FBSJ), the Summer months have become some of our busiest as we attend to feeding nearly 8,000 children through our Summer Meals Program by providing nearly half a million meals to kids in need throughout the four counties we serve. Thanks to the steadfast support of generous volunteers, sponsors, and advocates we’ve been able to successfully execute this program for the kids who rely on our help to feel their best, but with one month remaining in our summer-long program, there’s work yet to be done and ways you can help support our mission. Take a look at our quick list to find out how you can make a lasting difference in the lives of thousands of children during your final days of summer.
1. VOLUNTEER! We rely on the dedication of hundreds of volunteers to pack, prep, and portion up to 5,000 meals per day to deliver and distribute to children at 168 sites across Burlington, Gloucester, Camden, and Salem counties. The need for volunteers is critical to the execution of our Summer Meals Program, and we’re always looking for more help! To sign up, visit foodbanksj.org/summermeals or download the free FBSJ App on your smartphone. Volunteer opportunities are open to individual adults, large groups, business organizations, and students 13 years old and above looking for community service hour opportunities. Children ages 10 years old and older can also volunteer but must be accompanied by a supervising adult.
2. SPONSOR A SUMMER MEALS SITE! For those of us who continue on with our full-time jobs throughout the summer months, finding time to volunteer can be difficult. But there is still a way to make an impact by sponsoring a Summer Meals site. Encourage your workplace or a group of friends to join your pledge to South Jersey’s kids by creating your own Fundraising page and sharing with your social media networks, friends, family members, and co-workers. $1 provides 5 meals so even the smallest amount can go a long way!
3. ENJOY SOME JUST PEACHY SALSA! Summertime simply wouldn’t be complete without a backyard BBQ with friends, and we have just the thing to make your gathering that much more meaningful. Turn your party into a fiesta by bringing Just Peachy Salsa to the table. Found at most local grocery stores and farmers markets, our powerful party snack supports South Jersey in multiple ways by reducing food waste and helping the hungry. Learn more about the Just Peachy story here!
4. HOST A FOOD DRIVE! Power up your backyard parties by inviting guests to bring a canned good or non-perishable item. Food donations are critical to our operation and ensure that we are providing families, children, and seniors in need with wholesome and nutritious food that can help them feel their best all summer long. Find out what items are most needed and how to get started here: http://foodbanksj.org/donate-food/
5. ADVOCATE! Learn the facts and talk to your friends and family about the hunger crisis in South Jersey. The more awareness we can bring to the pervasive issue of hunger in our state, the more we can do together to make a notable difference for our neighbors in need.