Food and Fun in the Summer Time
Kids need fuel to run, play and learn during the summer months. Many families who struggle with food insecurity have even more difficulty during the summer months when they don’t have access to school meals. Being able to get a healthy, balanced breakfast and/or lunch at summer camp is a way to ensure that these children have healthy food when school is out.
Through our efforts under this grant to expand access to child nutrition programs, New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition (NJAHC) worked with the Clifton Park and Recreation department to launch a breakfast pilot at their Tots-O-Fun camp this summer. This is the first time that the Park and Recreation program has participated in the summer meals program. NJAHC connected Clifton with the Community Food Bank of NJ and they agreed to be the sponsor of the new summer meals pilot, delivering healthy breakfasts to the camp four days a week.
Tots-O-Fun camp provides enrichment and physical activity to about 50 children, mostly pre-K and Kindergarten age. Megan Mantz, who supervises the camp, says that summer breakfast has been a successful addition to their program. “Some parents can’t afford to feed their children breakfast. This is a huge help for those families.”
At the start of camp, children line up by group and are offered a bag with breakfast items, including apple slices, cereal and milk. “They love the apple slices”, says Connie, a camp counselor. Connie also says that breakfast is easy to serve and the children are happy to get it. “I feel good giving the kids breakfast. Some of them ask for breakfast as soon as they arrive in the morning. It’s the first thing they mention.”
About the Grantee
The mission of the New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition (NJAHC) is to end hunger in NJ through education, advocacy and activism. NJAHC educates the public and decision-makers about hunger — its causes, its solutions. We mobilize diverse organizations to combat hunger. We push for sweeping changes to ensure that every single New Jersey resident has healthy food to eat — every single day.