New Jersey jumped from 12th to sixth place nationally for serving meals to children during the summer when school is out and hunger sets in for many students who rely on school meals during the academic year, according to a national report released yesterday.
In July 2017, New Jersey communities served nearly 1.5 million lunches to children and teens across the state — a 32 percent increase over 2016, according to the Food Research & Action Center.
On an average day this past July, 101,138 New Jersey kids ate lunch at hundreds of sites across the state, including parks, libraries, pools, camps, schools, and other places where children congregate in the summer.
Despite this progress, New Jersey communities still reached just 24 percent of students who receive free or reduced-price school lunch. If the Garden State reached the nationally recommended benchmark of 40 percent of these children, it would collect an additional $5.2 million in federal dollars to feed hungry kids in the summer, according to FRAC’s annual report.