Closing the Summer Meal Gap – 2021

Little girl eating an apple

Summer Meal Programs for Kids

For hungry kids, the final bell of the school year signifies the loss of access to some of their most reliable sources of food – school breakfasts and lunches served daily, nutritious dinners provided at afterschool programs, and Family Packs distributed on Fridays. And this summer on the heels of a pandemic-induced recession, their situation will be especially critical.

That’s why the Community FoodBank of New Jersey (CFBNJ) is ramping up efforts to provide for families in need this summer. Through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), healthy food prepared by our professional staff, volunteers, and Food Service Training Academy students will be served at 57 sites across the state, including camps, Boys & Girls Clubs, libraries, and more. About 103,500 nutritionally balanced meals will be available both onsite and via a grab-and-go model.

Additionally, in an unprecedented program expansion, CFBNJ will provide Family Packs for the first time ever this summer, though they’re typically only given out during the school year. Nearly 15,000 Family Packs will be distributed to 27 participating sites in five counties, each with enough nonperishable food to sustain a struggling family for several days. Fresh produce, much of which will be sourced from local farms, will also be included in keeping with CFBNJ’s goal of addressing hunger as a health issue.

In South Jersey, where child hunger is especially high, CFBNJ’s Egg Harbor Township location will also continue its years-long summer partnership with Let Us Eat – Please, an initiative with Atlantic County law firm Cooper Levenson that provides biweekly groceries to families in need at participating school districts. This summer, 2,400 food boxes will be given out to help struggling South Jersey families through the season.

How to Find Food

This summer, CFBNJ will provide nutritious meals through the SFSP until August 31. To find USDA-approved sites that are free and open to kids 18 and under, visit the 2021 Summer Meals Site Finder.

Our Find Food page makes it easy to locate a CFBNJ food pantry near you. You can also text “FindFood” for English or “Comida” for Spanish to 908-224-7776 to receive helpful information on your phone in just seconds.

If you need additional food resources, our Resource Access team can help you apply for apply or recertify for SNAP benefits (formerly food stamps). Call our Food Assistance Line at 908-838-4831. Help is available in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole.

How to Help CFBNJ

Volunteers ages 16 and up are needed to help support increased summer meal production! Sign up to volunteer at a shift in our Community Kitchen in Hillside to help make meals that make a difference.

You can also donate to CFBNJ to give hope to hungry kids during their most difficult time of the year. Every $1 provides three nutritious meals!

Summer Meal Sites for Kids

Use this Google Map to find the summer meal location nearest you. PLEASE NOTE: Some locations are the sites for summer programs that require enrollment. These are marked with a red pin.