In summer 2020, New Jersey communities served free meals to more children than ever before, providing much-needed nutritional support when many families faced job loss because of the pandemic. Heighten awareness of the need to feed children and relaxed federal rules contributed to the increase.
The State of Summer Meals in New Jersey, 2020
Released Januuary 2021, this report provides a statewide snapshot of summer meal service to children in July 2020. Schools and community organizations nearly tripled the number of free meals provided to children in summer 2020 and doubled the number of children reached.
In June 2021, Hunger Free New Jersey released a report with local summer meal participation data, available for the first time. These statistics can help communities measures the effectiveness of their programs and make improvements to reach all children who can benefit.
Getting the word out about summer meals is key to reaching all those in need. This takes a community-wide effort -- schools, community and faith-based organizations, local government -- all have a role to play. We've made it really simple to spread the word with our toolkit, flyers & other resources.