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April 2016

NJ Schools Lag in Community Eligibility

New Jersey schools are behind the curve in taking advantage of a new option that can bring more federal dollars into school districts to pay for meals for low-income children, according to a new national report.

Just 35 percent of eligible, high-poverty New Jersey schools have taken advantage of the “Community Eligibility Provision,” compared to more than half of schools nationwide. This option allows school districts to reduce paperwork and provide meals free to all students, while earning higher federal per-meal reimbursements, according to the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC).

Some districts, including Paterson, Union City and Camden, are successfully using community eligibility and have reported an increase in students receiving meals at school, coupled with a reduction in paperwork. Other high-poverty districts, including Atlantic City, Bridgeton and Trenton, have yet to take advantage of this option.

To read the full report, visit frac.org. For more information on implementing community eligibility, click here.

Calling All Summer Sponsors!

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture is recruiting organizations to sponsor or become sites that provide summer meals. Schools, city government and community organizations are all eligible to become a sponsor or simply host a summer meal feeding site. Federal reimbursements cover the cost of meals.

Tens of thousands of New Jersey children rely on school meals for a substantial part of their nutrition during the school year and are more likely to be hungry in the summer. This program fills that gap and brings federal dollars into towns and schools to feed children. Yet, last year, New Jersey fed just roughly 19 percent of low-income children who are eligible for subsidized school meals.

The agriculture department provides support and technical assistance in getting the programs up and running. For more information, call Nicole at (609) 292-4498 or click here.

Webinar: Engaging Seniors and Parents

Thursday, April 21, 2016
Seniors and parents can be involved in afterschool meals on many different levels and engaging both groups can lead to increased participation and program sustainability. In this webinar, you’ll learn how both groups can help promote the program, act as volunteers or lead activities at sites.

Sign up for the conference call.

Every Kid Healthy Week is April 25–29

Launched by Action for Healthy Kids in 2013, Every Kid Healthy Week is an annual observance when schools, students, parents and community members come together to recognize their school’s wellness achievements through fun and interactive health-promoting events. For more information, go to EveryKidHealthyWeek.org.

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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