NEPTUNE, NJ – The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties (FBMOC) will receive a major boost this summer thanks to a multi-year grant from The Charles Lafitte Foundation’s (CLF) Kid’s Corner program. The donation, totaling $250,000 over five years, will directly benefit FBMOC’s Backpack Program, which provides food to chronically hungry children on weekends when school lunches are not available to them.
“One out of six children in our communities don’t have access to the food they need to grow and learn. Our Backpack program helps the most vulnerable of those children,” said Carlos M. Rodriguez, FBMOC Executive Director. “Thanks to the compassionate philanthropy of the Charles Lafitte Foundation, hundreds of children in Monmouth and Ocean Counties will not have to go hungry on weekends. On behalf of our staff and nearly 600 children served, we are so grateful for their unwavering support.”
Five years ago, the Backpack Program began and served just two schools and 60 children. Today, it provides weekend food to 600 chronically hungry children through 19 schools in Monmouth and Ocean Counties, a tenfold increase in only five years that reflects the growing need for food among poor and working poor families in Monmouth and Ocean Counties. Currently, the schools served are located in Asbury Park, Freehold, Keansburg, Lakewood, Neptune, Red Bank, Seaside Heights, Toms River and Tuckerton. On average, 32 children at each school receive weekend food through the Backpack Program.
Weekend food is provided during the 34-week school year. During this time, the Backpack Program distributes 20,400 packages of food – or 81,600 meals – to children who would otherwise go hungry on Saturdays and Sundays.
“Food is something we all take for granted. As a teenager, it’s hard to comprehend the number of hungry children living in our community. That’s why we are so proud to support the Backpack Program with this multi-year grant – it serves a major role in addressing the food gap for children in New Jersey and we want to do our part to help sustain this vital service for years to come,” said Kyra Citron, Kid’s Corner Director.
CLF’s Kid’s Corner strives to encourage kids not only to have a voice, but also a role in helping better their community. Kid’s Corner is run by kids for kids, placing the power of change directly in their capable hands. Every child is invited to join with CLF and become a grant maker by telling the organization which non-profit organizations are important to them and how CLF can help. Kid’s Corner supports various children’s advocacy issues, including childhood hunger, as well as education and health.
About The Charles Lafitte Foundation
The Charles Lafitte Foundation (CLF) supports innovative and effective ways of helping people help themselves and others around them to achieve healthy, satisfying and enriched lives. The Foundation supports organizations working in four main areas: education, children’s advocacy, medical research & issues, and the arts. The Foundation underwrites programs that can become self-sustaining with long-term commitment and measurable impact. In determining grants, CLF looks for solutions that lead to independence and self-empowerment for individuals, and to the establishment of effective, long-standing programs and organizations. For more information about the Charles Lafitte Foundation visit www.charleslafitte.org