Many students rely on school meals to get the nutrition they need to grow, be healthy and succeed in school. In the summer, these children lack access to those meals and families struggle to put food on the table.
The federal summer meals program provides a solution to summertime hunger for kids.
The NJ Food for Thought Campaign and the New Jersey Department of Agriculture have asked for our help in spreading the word to parents about these programs. Meals are typically provided through school districts, local government and/or community organizations.
Summer meal sponsors, including schools, community organizations and local government, provide food to sites through a community. Many supply meals to sites in multiple communities.
Summer meal sites are posted here. This list will be updated throughout the summer so please check back.
If your community provides summer meals, please inform parents in your community through your library’s website, e-news and by distributing flyers in your library locations.
A message for parents is below.
About Summer Meals
In general, summer meals programs, funded through the USDA, are free and require no identification or income verification from parents. Unfortunately, many parents simply do not know they exist. In fact, in 2017, just 24 percent of low-income NJ children received these meals.
Meals are served at places where children congregate -- parks, schools, pools, recreation programs and a growing number of libraries. Meals must meet USDA nutrition guidelines, which call for balanced meals that contain low salt and sugar and whole grains. This summer, New Jersey expects to have about 1,300 sites across the state serving meals to kids under 18.
Not only do these programs provide nutritious meals, they also give kids a chance to engage in fun, healthy activities during the summer months. Please help combat childhood hunger and ensure that children have the summertime nutrition they need to return to school in September ready to learn.
If you have questions about this information, please contact:
Sharon Rawlins, MLS
Youth Services Specialist for Lifelong Learning
NJ State Library
185 West State St.
P.O. Box 520
Trenton, NJ 08625-0520
609-278-2640 ext. 116
609-278-2650 – fax
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