Food Bank of South Jersey Delivers Record-Setting 170,000 Summer Meals Strong Support from Volunteer and Business Communities Enable FBSJ Staff to Reach Milestone
Pennsauken, NJ (PR.Com) – September 12, 2016 – The Food Bank of South Jersey (FBSJ) announced today that its Summer Meals Program (SMP) served 170,000 breakfasts, lunches, and snacks to approximately 3,795 low-income children, from mid-June through September 4.
The 2016 performance represents an 85% increase over the 2015 SMP total, when 92,000 meals were served.
Children benefitting from FBSJ’s SMP were enrolled at 105 “feeding sites” – community camps, day care centers, and vacation bible schools – scattered throughout Camden, Salem, Gloucester, and Burlington counties. Each of these sites was located in a low-income zone, where 50% or more of children qualify for free-and-reduced-price meals at school.
The growth in FBSJ’s SMP is notable because the organization operates as a “self-prep” sponsor; rather than source pre-made meals from a food services vendor, FBSJ procures fresh food from wholesalers and relies on the dedication of staff and strong support from volunteers to prep and pack an average of 3,000 meals daily that are transported to the sites.
“To have nearly doubled the impact of our Summer Meals Program this year took an exceptional effort from our direct services and operations teams,” noted Val Traore, FBSJ Chief Executive Officer and President. “And of course, a program like this cannot happen without help from hundreds of dedicated volunteers and donations from many business partners. I salute their generosity and community spirit.”
During the 2016 SMP, Virtua Health provided FBSJ with free use of commercial kitchen space in Camden that served as a food preparation hub. Bimbo Bakeries (Mount Laurel) donated an average of 600 loaves of bread weekly during the 12-week program. Bentley Truck Services loaned FBSJ several 18-foot box trucks needed for daily delivery routes.
Summer Meal Program at FBSJ:
Inside the 2016 Numbers