N.J. Department of Agriculture seeks more groups to participate in summer lunch program

    Facing an increase in demand, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture is looking for more groups to participate in the state’s summer food service program, which provides free meals to children in low-income areas.

    According to a report in The Star-Ledger, there are 98 organizations across New Jersey that distribute free lunches. Last summer, those groups reached nearly 51,00 children.

    The Star-Ledger says during the last school year, however, four times as many students received free or reduced-cost lunches daily across the state.

    The Summer Food Service Program is a federally funded program that is run by local sponsors, including school districts, local government agencies and private or nonprofit organizations. Sponsors provide free meals to a group of children at a central site, which can include a school or a community center, according to the Department of Agriculture.

    The Department of Agriculture has a list of 2012 sponsors and feeding locations on its website.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.