FAMILY FUN DAY TO EDUCATE RESIDENTS ON SUMMER MEALS, HEALTH SCREENINGS, AND OTHER ASSISTANCE PROGRAMs NOW AVAILABLE to residents FOR FREE
JERSEY CITY – To help celebrate the beginning of summer vacation, Wellcare Health has partnered with Jersey City to host a free Family Fun Day event this Friday, July 12th, at the Mary McLeod Bethune Life Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition to fun activities like face painting, games and giveaways, the goal of the event is to promote participation in youth summer meals, offer free health screenings, and provide access to information about other assistance programs available to Jersey City residents.
Hunger Free America (HFA), a national nonprofit group, is aiding summer meals outreach in Jersey City through an AmeriCorps VISTA team canvassing neighborhoods to raise awareness of the program.
“Summer meals reduce child hunger and boost summer learning — and are all paid for by the federal government. They are a grand slam, game-winning goal, slam-dunk, gold medal, and touchdown all in one. We greatly thank Mayor Fulop and the government of Jersey City for sponsoring and promoting them,” remarked HFA’s CEO Joel Berg, who will be in attendance at Friday’s event.
Every year, Jersey City’s Department of Recreation provides free summer meals to school-age children to ensure there is no gap in healthy food access during the summer months when school is out of session. The City currently operates over 80 sites across the City, but less than 20-percent of children who qualify for these meals take advantage of the program.
“In Jersey City, and all across the country, participation rates in summer meal programs are unacceptably low,” stated Mayor Fulop. “We have the resources in place to ensure that these children don’t go hungry in the summer, and want to do everything we can to maximize enrollment in summer meals.”
“With nearly one in seven Hudson County children living in food-insecure homes, providing summer meals is more important than ever. Our communities need to spread the word to reach as many children as possible,” said Shelley Skinner, Executive Director for Better Education for Kids. “Our organization is proud to be a part of a statewide effort to ensure no child ever goes hungry.”
For more information about summer meals, please contact the Department of Recreation at (201) 547 5003. For more information about additional healthy food access initiatives, please contact the Department of Health & Human Services at (201) 547 6800.