JEWISH FAMILY & Children’s Service (JFCS) received a Summer Hunger Relief Grant from the United Way of Mercer County to help alleviate summertime food insecurity. The $6,500 awarded was specially designated for “The Summer Lunch Pack Program” to provide additional food for families with children who visit JFCS’s Yvette Sarah Clayman Kosher Food Pantry.
According to the United Way, there are more than 20,000 students in Mercer County who receive free and reduced breakfast and lunch during each school day. Childhood food insecurity traditionally peaks over the summer months when children do not have access to these school lunches. At the Yvette Sarah Clayman Kosher Food Pantry, there is a drastic increase in the amount of food needed to stock the shelves in July, August, and the beginning of September.
“Funding for ‘The Summer Lunch Pack Program’ will go towards purchasing extra food that we know our young clients will enjoy,” said Michelle Napell, JFCS executive director. Those foods include yogurt, cheese sticks, pretzels, juice boxes, apple sauce, fruit cups, crackers, oranges, bananas, and carrot sticks.
The availability of the additional food helps to increase food security and decrease out-of-pocket expenditures for grocery purchases from low-income households. In addition, pantry clients receive newsletters focusing on healthy options for children’s summer lunches, and advice on making food last longer, since more meals are eaten at home during the
Each year, the Yvette Sarah Clayman Kosher Food Pantry provides more than 80 families and 250 individuals with non-perishable items, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, frozen chicken and fish, fresh eggs, dairy products, and gluten-free items. It operates as a “choice” pantry, where clients are able to select the items that best meet their dietary needs and preferences. A registered dietician is also available to assist clients while they shop, and give advice on healthy options for dietary needs.