Many kids think about where their next fun activity will come from now that summer is here, but for a surprisingly large number of children, they’re wondering where their next meal will come from.
In South Jersey 57,000 children are at risk of going hungry every day.
Officials at the Food Bank of South Jersey say once school ends some kids don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
Joe Njoroge of Food Bank of South Jersey said, “They have access to free and reduced-cost meals, but once summer comes and they are out of school those meals are not there anymore so they have a shortage of food.”
Lauren Hann of Food Bank of South Jersey adds, “A lot of these kids are going without simply because they are not aware that these programs exist, and that we are here to help them.”
Through a federally-funded summer meal program the food bank provides free meals to children 18 and under. Every day dozens of volunteers at the food bank in Pennsauken pack breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks that go out to day camps, parks and churches that host the program. The Food bank covers Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem Counties.
Site Coordinator June Harris said, “They know that they can come in they’ll have something to eat during the summer if they don’t have enough at home. So it’s making a difference in their life.”
The food bank hopes to serve 8000 kids this summer at 168 locations throughout South Jersey. The people here say there’s no reason for any child to go hungry.
The Martin Luther Christian School in Pennsauken is one of the feeding sites.
Pastor Fr. Bob Bruggeman said, “Helping to provide these kids the stuff they need so when they are growing up they become good solid citizens.”
To find out where the sites are located, you can check the Food Bank of South Jersey’s website.
The massive operation serves soup kitchens and food pantries year-round, but this time of year, the focus is making sure kids don’t miss a meal.