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By Nina Baratti, SNJ Today Reporter | SALEM, N.J. –

“During the summer months, the harsh reality is that for these children that rely on those meals, they’re going without during the summer months,” said Lauren Hann, senior manager of communications for the Food Bank of South Jersey.

Five times a week. Three stops a day. The Food Bank of South Jersey’s new Bus Stop Café is delivering nutritious meals right to Salem County children.

“Through the Bus Stop Café, we’re specifically targeting Salem County because we know that there are areas where children may congregate and not have a place to eat lunch and get the nutrition that they need for those summer months,” said Hann.

New for the Food Bank of South Jersey, this program is an extension of their summer meal program.

“Our mission is to feed about 8,000 children this summer by distributing half a million meals in the four counties that we serve,” said Hann.

While they help feed thousands of kids at camps, clubs, and organizations in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Salem Counties throughout the summer, they launched the bus to specifically target low-income areas of Salem County.

“[It] truly takes a village to raise these kids, so basically with our partnerships with the food and everything, it helps us out with their lunches,” said Wayne Roane, the lead ambassador of One Village Alliance. “To make sure they get their daily balance of meals they need every day.”

No I.D. or proof of address is needed.

With a rotating menu, the kids will have something different and nutrient packed to eat every weekday.

“If you show up to where our bus is located, a kid can come on board, grab a meal, eat it on the bus if they’d like, or take it home with them,” said Hann.

On top of food, sometimes books and activities will be distributed, to help nourish the mind and body.

To see if the bus is stopping near you, visit the Food Bank of South Jersey’s website.

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