Summer Food Service Offers Healthy Meals for Needy Students

| July 16, 2014 4:58 PMvideo

Students at Hugh J. Boyd Junior Elementary summer school are chowing down on their free sandwich and snacks.

“I like the sandwich part because it’s my favorite,” said 6-year-old Adrianna Toler.

The Seaside Heights school participates in the federally funded Summer Food Service Program, which provides up to two meals a day — lunch and either breakfast or a snack — to kids who live in areas where at least 50 percent of the children qualify for the National School Lunch Program’s free or reduced-price meals and are enrolled in the participating programs. At Hugh J. Boyd Junior Elementary, that’s about 90 percent of the students. Social worker Kaelin Cardone says during the school year, student behavior suffers when their bellies are empty.

“You can tell that they didn’t eat anything. They’re not energetic, they’re sluggish, they fall asleep. A lot of times they either come in hungry looking for food or trying to see what other kids have,” Cardone said.

“Children especially need to make sure they have the right nutritional intake. It has a direct impact on their ability to develop and learn,” said FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties Executive Director Carlos Rodriguez.

Rodriguez says during the summer months, more families struggle to ensure their kids eat enough meals every day.

“The FoodBank is serving one in 10 residents throughout Monmouth and Ocean County and we know 51,000 are children and this is just on a yearly basis,” Rodriguez said.

Read the full article on the NJTV News website.

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