Improving access to child nutrition programs in Clifton: A snapshot of progress made
Over the course of the two-year grant period, Hunger Free New Jersey has worked with our partners in Clifton to make great strides in improving access to healthy food for their children.
Breakfast after the bell:
A little over two years ago, Clifton was only serving breakfast after the bell in two of their schools. As of this month, the district is serving breakfast after the bell in six of their schools, with roll out scheduled in a seventh school in January. In each of these schools, over 50% of the students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Instituting a grab and go model of breakfast service has greatly improved access to the program for hundreds more students each day. The district has seen a 15-20% increase in breakfast participation year over year. There has been a 25% increase in breakfast participation in schools #12 and #12 annex since launching the program in those buildings this fall.
Clifton is one of several districts that started serving afterschool meals this year. In September, the district started serving afterschool dinners in two schools, #4 and #12 through the Minds in Motion program, serving a snack and third meal to over 185 students each day of the week. The district hopes to expand afterschool meal service next year.
Summer food program:
Two years ago, there was only one summer meals site in Clifton. This past summer, the Palestinian American Community Center and the Clifton school district participated so that more children would have access to nutrition. The school district fed breakfast and lunch to students enrolled in their summer program and opened these sites to any children in the community who needed a meal, one of a handful of districts that ran open summer meal sites this year. Next year, they plan to host open sites again, building the program on lessons learned from this summer.
Pictured: Clifton student gets her breakfast on the way into school in the morning.
About the Grantee
The mission of Hunger Free New Jersey (formerly New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition) is to end hunger in NJ through education, advocacy and activism. Hunger Free New Jersey educates the public and decision-makers about hunger and mobilizes diverse organizations to combat hunger by improving access to nutrition programs.