Community Life

East Orange Recreation Summer Food Program Earns Its Second NRPA Park Champion Declaration Supported By US Senators


EAST ORANGE, NJ - Dept. of Recreation and Cultural Affairs’ Summer Food Program was declared National Recreation & Parks Association Park Champion 2018 for the second consecutive year at its annual Summer Food Kickoff Event, on June 15, 2018, at Rowley Park. 

During the opening ceremony, Jeremy Julius, Deputy Director of Constituent Services  for U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, read the Senator’s congratulatory letter on the many successes of the Food Program. Senator Booker also sent a congratulatory letter commenting on the Program’s fight against childhood obesity and hunger. Adele LaTourette, Director of the NJ Anti-Hunger Coalition stated, “More cities need to be like East Orange”. Jayni Rasmussen, the NRPA  Advocacy & Outreach Manager, proudly declared, in front of 600 youth, the USDA Power Panther, and the NJ Department of Agriculture, the honor of being named Park Champions 2018. 

In celebration of launching one of  the most successful Summer Food Service program in Essex County, NJ, The City of East Orange was excited to host the annual Summer Food Kickoff Event, sponsored in part by the NJ Department of Agriculture, National Recreation and Park Association, Preferred Meals, EO WIC, EOYMCA, and the Bethlehem Community Church.

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”Thanks to the innovative thinking of Director Rene L. Muhammad and Food Program Director Ravi Boze-Adams, we have been able to access federal funds to feed children in need” said Mayor Ted R. Green. “I am excited to see that our efforts are recognized on a national level, and hope for the continued success of this program”, as the crowd of 600+ cheered on.

To learn more about East Orange’s Food Programs, including the Summer and Afterschool Meals Program, please call the Dept. of Recreation and Cultural Affairs at 973.414.4141 or email

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