Thanks to all the individuals and organizations who made our Summer Hunger Busters initiative a huge success! Many of the families we serve depend on the school lunch and breakfast programs to help fill their children’s nutritional needs. During the summer families are left struggling to find a way to provide three meals a day for hungry children on their limited food budget. The MEND pantries are hard-pressed to meet this increased need during the summer months since donations to the pantries almost stop completely from May – September.

With the help of community funders, MEND launched the SUMMER HUNGER BUSTERS PROJECT this year. Starting in July,  families received an addi­tional package of food to supplement their regular pantry package. The sample package in July included a cold cereal, shelf stable milk, small boxes of raisins and fruit in a cup. A healthy food tips flyer was included with the food package.

For this pilot program the funding for the project was primari­ly for the five pantries located in the Oranges and Maplewood. It is our hope to expand the project next year so all 16 MEND pantries can par­ticipate.

Special thanks go to the Orange Orphan Society, the Junior League of the Oranges, Fraentzel Foundation, and Walmart for making this summer nutrition program for children possible. It is our hope that these extra food packages will provide a boost to the family’s food budget and give children healthy food they need to thrive and grow.