Sponsors and children who participate in the Food Bank of South Jersey’s Summer Meals program cut a ribbon to officially begin the 2018 Summer Meals program.
Pennsauken, NJ - - June 22, 2018 The Food Bank of South Jersey (FBSJ) hosted over 100 children at its Summer Meals Program Kidsfest kick-off event at Wiggins Park at the Camden Waterfront. Last year’s program provided 395,000 meals to 8,100 children in Burlington, Camden, Salem and Gloucester counties.
“When the bell sounds to dismiss school, children who rely on school meal programs are left food insecure for the summer,” says Joe Njoroge, Interim President and CEO, FBSJ. “The Food Bank of South Jersey is committed to change that through our Summer Meals Program.”
The event featured a welcome from Interim President & CEO, Joe Njoroge, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the FBSJ’s renovated Bus Stop Café, which delivers meals to children who need a safe place to eat their meals. Guests had the opportunity to go inside the bus and view the new interior design and built-in dining tables. For lunch, the children received their first meal from the Summer Meals program.
FBSJ’s corporate sponsors provided many fun activities and entertainment for children from several organizations, including Leap Academy, Greater Mt. Carmel Church of God, St. John’s Outreach, and Love Ministries. Kidsfest activities included: DJ, magician and various kid-friendly activities such as water cycle bangles, growing with groundwater and interacting with Puddles Water truck sponsored by New Jersey American Water, t-shirt painting and back pack donation sponsored by Matt Blatt Mitsubishi, a coloring station sponsored by Freedom Mortgage, bubbles and slime activities sponsored by Holman Automotive, and corn toss and wiffle ball by HBK CPAs and Consultants. Additional activities were provided by Bayada Pediatrics, Westmont Associates, Virtua, Beneficial Bank, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Fox & Roach Realtors and Republic Bank.
It is estimated that over 57,000 children in South Jersey face food insecurity. The Food Bank’s Summer Meals Program provides children with fresh and nutritious meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner for 10 weeks in the summer.
“Each year we have been able to grow and expand our Summer Meals Program. This year’s goal is to provide half a million meals to the children in our area that need it most. We are so grateful to our sponsors who have helped make this program so successful,” says Njoroge. “This Program is important not only to the children who receive meals but also to their parents. We are proud to be able to take some of the burden of replacing school provided meals once summer hits.”
The Food Bank of South Jersey has received recognition for its work in the Summer Meals program including a Champion of Feeding Certificate from the State of New Jersey Department of Agriculture.
This year’s Summer Meals Program sponsors included: Holman Automotive, Virtua, Matt Blatt Mitsubishi,
United Airlines, Subaru of America, Beneficial Bank, New Jersey American Water, United Way - Philadelphia & Southern New Jersey, Westmont Associates, Deborah Heart & Lung, Aetna Better Health of New Jersey, Subaru of America, Freedom Mortgage, Bob's Discount Furniture, Johnson & Towers, State Farm Insurance, Bayada Pediatric Services, PHH Mortgage, HBK CPAs and Consultants, Andrews Federal Credit Union, Goya Foods, Republic Bank, and Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Fox & Roach Realtors.