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Winter, spring, summer, or fall – We’ll be there, making sure Kids Thrive 365

Ahh. It’s the autumnal equinox and we are finally heading into fall. New Jersey children are back in a school and our beaches are looking a little empty. Folks are putting away the floppy hats and shorts and bringing out the does-the-AC-feel-colder-than-usual-in-here? jackets. 

It’ll be hard to let go of summer. It was pretty special, with the Food Bank of South Jersey distributing more than 100,000 meals to our communities’ children. Healthy snacks and meals, lovingly handed out by staff and volunteers, fueled summer days at parks, camps, community programs, and other spots along the way. Thousands of children didn’t have to worry about where their next meal was coming from.  

The food bank was there. 

Now, as we transition into the flurry of fall, we can’t help but feel a little something akin to those first-day-of-class butterflies. With Summer Meals behind us, we, too, head back to school.  

At the Food Bank, we want our kids to thrive every day of the year. But, right now, 1 in 8 kids in our region face food insecurity. 

Our focus on South Jersey’s kids is not a summertime fling. Now that school is back in session, so are our afterschool and weekend programs. Programs that ensure our children don’t have to worry about food after they’ve left the cafeteria or the last bell of the day has rung. 

Science tells us that kids who don’t get enough healthy food are not at their best mentally or physically. Food insecure children lag behind in gym class, the nurse’s office, and in the classroom. Which is why the Food Bank offers Kids Thrive 365. 

Kids Thrive 365 is our full plate of offerings for our communities’ youth. With after-school-hours snacks, pre-packed weekend meals, and school pantries offering healthy foods for families, the nutritional needs of students in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Salem counties are tended to every day of the year.  

“A hungry student is unable to learn, and being able to provide a healthy, nutritious meal or snack makes a big difference,” said Terzah Bembridge from All Things Possible Foundation. “We are grateful to know that we are helping those children that may be dealing with food insecurities. When their belly is satisfied, it improves the child’s attendance and behavior to allow the student to engage in school.”  

Through Kids Thrive 365 and our partners at groups like All Things Possible, schools, and community centers throughout the region, thousands of South Jersey students receive the nutrition they need to succeed in school and in life.  

More than just a run-of-the-mill group of programs, Kids Thrive 365 is a promise. A promise that we will do all we can to ensure that no kid goes to bed hungry. Not today, not next weekend, not over the holidays. We want South Jersey’s future leaders ready for tomorrow. And a bright tomorrow starts with a full stomach today. 

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