While stocking up on gifts this holiday season, remember that 1 in 5 children in New Jersey is hungry.
These kids – nearly 400,000 of them – do not put the newest toys at the top of their wish lists; they merely want the security of knowing they will find food at home.
Some of these children visit the Morristown Neighborhood House daily, where school-age kids receive food and homework help. The organization opened in 1898, originally to support the immigrant community, and serves students from preschool through fifth-grade. More than a century later, the Community FoodBank of New Jersey provides the “Nabe” with food to make meals for the kids.
Nine-year-old Azariah takes one of the six buses that goes to the Nabe every day. The fourth-grader looks forward to her after-school stop because of the food, friends and teachers.
“I’m thankful for it [the Nabe],” Azariah said. “Even if I’m staying here till eight or nine.”
Another fourth-grader, 10-year-old Wilson, enjoys visiting the Nabe because “we eat” and “we do our homework,” he said.
David, a 7-year-old in the second-grade, also likes the food provided at the Nabe, as well as the friendly environment.
“When we come, we go outside, we have our snack, we do our homework, we go to the gym,” David said, “then we do something that’s different every day and then we go have free play.”
These kids are grateful for an afternoon snack or meal and a sense of community.
Give them a gift this holiday season and spread FOOD, HELP and HOPE.