Princeton University’s Campus Dining, Office of Community and Regional Affairs and John H. Pace, Jr. ’39 Center for Civic Engagement have established the Summer Food and Nutrition Program in order to provide meals for at-risk families, children and individuals. The initiative includes collaborations with the Princeton Public Schools and three area nonprofits—Princeton Public Schools, HomeFront, the Rescue Mission of Trenton and Meals on Wheels of Mercer County.
The Summer Food and Nutrition Program will run for six weeks, from July 7 through Aug. 16. The program will offer continuity of employment, including health benefits, to Campus Dining employees who normally work for nine months a year. The team will prepare and package approximately 9,500 meals each week to be distributed to about 2,000 people in surrounding communities.
The Campus Dining team has started the planning process—writing globally diverse, healthy menus; placing food orders; and preparing for packaging options. They are also developing simple homestyle recipes that are nutritionally dense for families to prepare at home; the recipes will be available on the Campus Dining website.
The Princeton Public School district has 500 students on its free/reduced price lunch program. Once the district moved to remote teaching this spring, the district continued offering breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday, and through a collaboration with Send Hunger Packing Princeton, extended those offerings to include weekend breakfast and lunch and three family dinners per week. School bus drivers have been delivering the meals via front porch drops and distribution sites.
As part of the Summer Food and Nutrition Program, Campus Dining will prepare and package the three-per-week family meals, and the weekend breakfasts and lunches. The district will continue to provide breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday. This also enables SHUPP to provide children with a bag of fresh produce once a week for their families. School district bus drivers will continue to deliver the meals using front porch drops and distribution sites.
With Homefront, the Summer Food and Nutrition Program will provide meals that the Lawrence-based nonprofit delivers to homeless individuals and families living in motel rooms on Route 1, and an additional 200 meals a week for the mothers and toddlers currently living on the HomeFront campus in Lawrence as they work toward independence.
The program will provide lunch and dinner—about 2,500 meals per week—for those who are in recovery and treatment, and those who are homeless and living at the Rescue Mission of Trenton.
An additional 540 meals a week will be provided to Meals on Wheels of Mercer County, for delivery to homebound individuals living in communities, including Princeton, East Windsor, West Windsor and Hightstown.