The Y, in partnership with local Girl Scout Troops and the Food Bank Network of Somerset County, hosted a community-service event for children whose families struggle to afford food.
Somerset County YMCA
Basking Ridge, N.J., Nov. 1, 2019 - Somerset Hills YMCA, a branch of Somerset County and Plainfield YMCA, in collaboration with Girl Scout Troops #60986 and #63423 and the Food Bank Network of Somerset County, hosted a community-service event for children whose families struggle to afford food on Friday, Oct. 25.
Over 30 Girl Scouts, students from the local school, St. James, and other youth volunteers from the community gathered at the Y to assemble “meal packs” as part of the food bank’s Backpack Program that helps children receive the same nutritional assistance at home that they do at school. Students who receive free lunch at public elementary schools in Somerset County qualify to receive the packs, which are for children to eat at home in lieu of meals that their families may not be able to afford.
“At the Y, our mission is to make sure everyone in the community has access to the resources they need to learn, grow and thrive,” said David M. Carcieri, President and CEO of Somerset County and Plainfield YMCA. “For many children, the only balanced meal they receive on a daily basis is a school lunch. We hope our partnership with the Girl Scout and the Food Bank Network of Somerset County helps children receive proper nutrition around the clock, even when school isn’t in session.”
Each pack consisted of one-gallon bags filled with nutritious non-perishable food items such as oatmeal packets, granola bars, applesauce and juice boxes. Girl Scouts, Y staff and members, and members of the community collected the items as part of a food drive that took place throughout October. The group assembled 300 meal packs that were then delivered to area schools.
The Y, which is for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, helped the scouts organize the event by managing the food drive, providing advisement, venue space and other support.
“I appreciate all the support the Y has provided to the scouts and the food bank to help us run this amazing program,” said Jackie Taylor, Girl Scout leader and Food Bank Network of Somerset County board member. “And what I love in particular about this program is that it’s kids helping kids.”
According to Taylor, there are approximately 800 students within the county who participate in the Backpack Program.
Somerset County and Plainfield YMCA offers a series of workshops to assist Girl and Boy Scouts in mastering the important skills required to earn badges and service awards. As a charitable organization, the Y’s cause is to strengthen the community and work to deliver mission-driven programs and events that inspire people of all ages, support overall health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back.
For more information about Somerset Hills YMCA and services provided, visit somersetcountyymca.org.
About Somerset County and Plainfield YMCA
The Y is a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening the community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. At Somerset County and Plainfield YMCA, we believe everyone, regardless of age, income or background, should have the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. For information about Somerset County and Plainfield YMCA and financial assistance, visit us at www.somersetcountyymca.org.
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SHY Meal Packs – Over 300 meal packs were delivered to area elementary schools as part of the Food Bank Network of Somerset County’s Backpack Program.
SHY Meal Packs 2 – L to R: Lauren Richardson, Basking Ridge; Erika Lewin, Associate Program Director, Somerset Hills YMCA; Jackie Taylor, Girl Scout leader and member of the board at the Food Bank Network of Somerset County. The group organized the food drive to help children in need within the community.