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July 2015

NJ needs to expand summer meals to more hungry children

Tens of thousands of children who eat meals at school lack access to healthy summer meals in towns across New Jersey, according to a report released today by Advocates for Children of New Jersey and the NJ Food for Thought Campaign.

In 2014, New Jersey’s summer meals programs reached only 19 percent of the roughly 419,000 children who received free- or reduced-price school lunch in the 2014-15 school year. The national Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) recommends that states serve at least 40 percent of these low-income children. School districts can play a key role by becoming a summer meal sponsor, bringing additional federal funds into your town to feed hungry children.

Read the report.

New Jersey is not alone…According to the Food Research and Action Center’s recent report, only one in six eligible children use the Summer Food Service Program. In 2014, though, the program saw its largest increase in the number of children participating since 1993. This 7 percent jump is likely due to USDA’s focus on expanding summer meal outreach, improving program policies and bolstering national, state and local partnerships. USDA also provides resources for individuals and organizations interested in becoming “summer meal champions in their community” through the USDA Summer Meals Toolkit.

Already have a summer meals program?

Join this July 2 webinar to learn strategies for maintaining momentum.

Summer may be in full swing, but it’s important to keep the momentum of your summer programs going in order to avoid a slump in participation. This call will cover innovative strategies sites and sponsors can implement to ensure families know that sites are operating in their neighborhoods and participation stays high all summer long.

Join the webinar.

Start planning breakfast this summer.

Summer is a good time to get your plans in place to pilot breakfast after the bell this fall. You will find helpful resources, including grants and a breakfast calculator, here.

The Food for Thought School Breakfast Campaign is a partnership of state agencies, child advocates, anti-hunger coalitions, statewide education organizations and national organizations.

View a list of campaign partners.

Advocates for Children of New Jersey
 35 Halsey Street 2nd Floor, Newark, NJ 07102
(Between Bleeker St. and Central Ave.)
973.643.3876 I Fax 973.643.9153 I www.acnj.org 
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