Trenton, N.J. – Mayor W. Reed Gusciora today announced the start of Trenton’s Summer Meals program and a new companion website that makes it easy to locate free grab-n-go meals for children, teens, and seniors at numerous sites across the city.
The Summer Meals program, sponsored by the City of Trenton Department of Recreation: Natural Resources & Culture, Mercer Street Friends, and the Capital Area YMCA, provides free meals to youth under age 18 Monday through Friday. There is no registration or income certification required, and parents are not required to give any personal information about their children at the sites in order to receive a free meal.
The Trenton meals are provided by the Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the Summer Food Service Program.
To help families find local, up-to-date information about Summer Meals sites, as well as food pantries and other free food distribution opportunities for adults, seniors, and children, Trenton Health Team created an easy-to-use online directory of food services that includes an interactive map. To use the directory, visit www.trentonhealthteam.org/food.
“The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted many summer programs and increased the need for food across the city,” said Mayor Gusciora. “We’re grateful for the collaboration and innovation among our partners at Mercer Street Friends, Trenton Health Team and the Capital Area YMCA who put together another valuable resource for our communities when they need it the most.”
“It is critically important that the community is aware of where and when they can access food this summer,” said Mercer Street Friends CEO Bernie Flynn. “I’m proud of the nonprofit leadership who came together to work with the Trenton Health Team to provide usable, accurate food site information and we greatly appreciate the support of the Mayor, his team and County officials.”
"Although feeding children in the City of Trenton is not new to any of the partners in this collaboration; doing it in such a coordinated manner is new to how we deliver the service, said Capital Area YMCA CEO Samuel T. Frisby Sr. “Because the need has never been greater, the stakes couldn’t be higher and the YMCA is proud to support our community with these partners at this time."
“Access to fresh, healthy, affordable food is a critical issue in Trenton,” said Trenton Health Team Executive Director Gregory Paulson. “This already challenging situation has been made worse by the Coronavirus pandemic.”
Meeting the community’s food needs is the focus of the Trenton Food Stakeholders group, representing more than 50 community organizations across the city including Capital Area YMCA, Mercer Street Friends, Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, Meals on Wheels, the Rescue Mission, Arm In Arm, and HomeFront. Members meet regularly to collaborate on improving food access and nutrition for Trenton households.