East Orange to Launch Free After School Meal Program
On Wed., Oct. 26, the City of East Orange’s Department of Recreation & Cultural Affairs officially launched its Free After School Meal Program during the Hunger Summit, an event designed to bring together leading community advocates and students for a workshop focused on closing the hunger gap all year round.
The Hunger Summit was held at East Orange Campus High School, 340 Prospect Street, East Orange, NJ from 8:30AM to 1:30PM.
According to Advocates for Children of New Jersey, while the number of municipalities which serve free summer meals has increased over the past few years, there is a still large amount of underutilized federal money available for programs that operate after school meal programs.
“ I am extremely proud of our continuing effort to enhance the quality life for our most vulnerable residents – our young people,” said Mayor Lester E. Taylor III. “Over 70% of our students qualify for free or reduced lunch, so the hunger gap is a critical issue for many of our families. Providing proper nutrition and nourishment to the growing, developing minds of our students is one of the many ways that we are working to ensure success for our children both inside and outside the classroom.”
Under the leadership of Director Osner J. Charles, the East Orange Food Service Program has expanded to better serve the children most at risk with dealing with hunger.
Efforts have included increasing the locations of participating sites, aggressive marketing and outreach, cultivating partnerships with various state and local food agencies, as well as extending meal times.