With the school year over, a lot of New Jersey families are looking forward to vacations and carefree summer days. But many others are dreading the long stretch, because their kids will be missing out on the breakfasts and lunches they usually get at school – sometimes the only meals these hungry children can count on.
The USDA’s latest numbers show almost 700,000 children in New Jersey take part in the National School Lunch Program, and more than 300,000 take part in the School Breakfast Program. In order to help bridge the gap, CFBNJ’s Hillside headquarters and Southern Branch in Egg Harbor Township will be serving tens of thousands of meals to hungry children at Summer Food Service Program sites around the state from June 27 through August 26.
We recently asked some kids to share a little about what it’s like to go hungry. Here’s what a few of them told us:
“You feel down, you feel sad that you don’t have food at the table.”
“When I’m in school and I’m hungry, I go to where the water fountain is and I drink a lot of water.”
“I cry when I’m hungry because it’s really hurtful to my stomach.”
“Sometimes, all that makes you feel better is food.”
And they told us how it feels when they get food:
“I feel happy because I know I will have something to eat.”
“Sometimes we run out of food so it helps.”
“It helps us eat a dinner without my grandmother having to worry about having enough rice to give us.”
“My mom says it’s a blessing to have food to eat together.”
In order to feed hungry children and families in New Jersey year-round, we rely on our generous donors and volunteers, as well our relationships with more than 1,000 partner charities. When CFBNJ provides food and meals to these agencies, it changes lives.