Teen camp volunteers help Food Bank of South Jersey

Food bank vols at camp

Published in Burlington County Times | By BCT Staff | On September 6th, 2017 — Earlier this summer, 19 boys and girls, members of YMCA Camp Ockanickon and Camp Matollionequay’s Leaders-in-Training program, went to the Food Bank of South Jersey and helped assemble enough meals to feed 3,500 children struggling with food insecurity in Burlington, Camdenm Gloucester and Salem counties.

The Food Bank’s Summer Meals program provided kids with free breakfast, lunch and snacks on a daily basis during the 10 weeks when schools was not in session.

According to the Food Bank, the summer months are often a vulnerable time, food quantity-wise and nutritionally, for kids from low-income areas who don’t have access to school meals.

In assembly-line fashion, the teens spent a morning preparing and packaging sandwiches, vegetables, beverages and treats, which were later delivered to families in need. The teens packaged 3,500 meals in a three-hour shift.

Leaders-in-Training is a three-week program, designed to give participants the opportunity to learn the skills and qualities required to lead groups in identifying and achieving their goals. LITs develop these skills by participating in discussions and group work and by observing others. Camp directors choose candidates who are serious about broadening their leadership skills and who aren’t afraid of hard work. The focus of the program is to incorporate the YMCA four core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.

When the LITs are not volunteering, they can be found shadowing activity directors and the kitchen staff, and learning how to plan and implement camp programs. Often, they spend time with camp directors to learn what happens behind the scenes at camp.

For more information go to www.ycamp.org or call 609-654-8225.