Food Bank of South Jersey Begins Summer Meals Program with Camden KidsFest

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CAMDEN, N.J. -

For many students, school isn’t just a place for learning, it’s also the place where they can get at least one meal for the day.

Once the final bell rings and school is out for the summer, many students are unsure of where their next meal is coming from.

That’s why officials with the Food Bank of South Jersey are coming together for another year to make sure students and kids in the area have something to eat everyday.

Just last year, representatives with the Food Bank of South Jersey's Summer Meals Program provided almost 400,000 meals to more than 8,000 children in South Jersey.

“We [want to] be a part of changing lives and if we can provide a good meal ... then we’re doing our part of making sure that child has a bright future," said Joe Njoroge, interim president and CEO of the Food Bank of South Jersey.

"So, we’re changing communities by making sure that there’s nutritious food available for kids every single day." 

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“This is so important because there are so many children who wouldn’t be eating this summer during what would be school hours," said Stephanie Sabatino, a volunteer from Berkshire Hathaway Fox & Roach Realtors.

"Being able to work with these kids and play with them and see them smile and see them eat and know that they’re not going to bed hungry tonight is just amazing,” said Sabatino.

On Thursday, June 21st, community members, volunteers and students came together to kick off the 10-week program with KidsFest.

Sponsors and partners provided fun activities for children to do and, of course, they enjoyed a nutritious lunch.

There was also a special ribbon cutting for the newly renovated Bus Stop Café, which is the Food Bank's mobile dining room.

Officials with the Bus Stop Café will be making stops around Burlington, Salem, Camden, and Gloucester counties bringing breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a safe place to eat.

“When you go in there, there [are] seats for kids to sit in, there’s a hand washing station, and kids can come in and have a nice meal," said Njoroge. "They can turn the seats around and play games and enjoy themselves. It’s a mobile dining room, but it’s really a fun place for kids to be at this summer." 

Officials with the Food Bank of South Jersey hope that this year will be even bigger and better than in years past.

Their goal is to provide half a million meals to children who need it most.

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