Creating communities that nourish children
Bill advances to make lunch free to more students
A measure that would make school lunch free to more low-income students cleared the Senate Budget Committee last week. A-5855/4200 would provide $4.5 million in state funds to pay the cost of meals served to students who pay a reduced price for those meals.
The legislation, sponsored by Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and Sen. Teresa Ruiz, is especially important as the minimum wage rises. This will likely push more families into the reduced-price category, even though they still struggle financially.
Teaming up to serve summer meals
Hunger Free New Jersey and the Community Food Bank of New Jersey held two summits this fall to help school officials meet the new mandate to participate in the Summer Food Service Program by 2020. Both meetings - one in North and one in South Jersey - were well-attended and brought together veteran summer meal sponsors with those gearing up to serve meals next summer. A third summit, sponsored by the Reinvestment Fund, is set for Friday.
The summits also highlighted Hunger Free New Jersey's new guide to help school districts implement effective summer meals programs. For some school districts, teaming up with an existing sponsor is the best way to bring summertime nutrition to students. We've published the list of last year's sponsors to help school officials find potential partners in their area. Find sponsors in your area.
FRAC releases report on unpaid school meal fees
Many school districts grapple with collecting unpaid meal fees. Shaming students, however, is never good policy. Food Research & Action Center's new report looks at how school officials deal with this issue and highlights strategies that do not hurt students. Meanwhile, the New Jersey Legislature is considering legislation, A-4856/S-2979, that would outlaw taking steps to collect debts that involve embarrassing the child, including publicly identifying students whose families have lunch debt and serving alternative meals.
Helpful Food Research & Action Center Webinars
Breakfast Matters Webinar: Supporting Immigrant Families
Dec. 12 | 3 p.m.
As the threats to immigrants continue - documented and undocumented -- many children, parents and educators are worried. This webinar will focus on challenges facing families, districts and advocates across the country and strategies to ensure students have access to child nutrition programs.
Afterschool Meals Matter: Peer Mentoring
Dec. 19, 2019 | 1 p.m.
Pairing experienced school district and non-profit afterschool meal sponsors with those that would benefit from mentorship is a great way to build partnerships and increase participation. Join this 30-minute-deep-dive webinar to hear how peer mentorship can be used as a tool to reduce barriers and expand access to afterschool meals.
Led by Hunger Free New Jersey, the New Jersy Food For Thought Campaign aims to end childhood hunger by expanding participation in federal nutrition programs. The campaign is driven by a coalition of education, health, child and anti-hunger organizations, the New Jersey Departments of Agriculture, Education and Health, the Food Research & Action Center and the American Dairy Association Northeast. Learn more about the campaign
This communication was prepared by Hunger Free New Jersey. Questions? Comments? Contact Nancy Parello at email@example.com.