Dear Residents and Stakeholders:

As many of us begin to prepare for the upcoming holiday season, I cannot help but reflect on our blessings as a community and our collective efforts to take care of our neighbors in need. 

On October 26th East Orange held its first Hunger Summit and officially launched the city's new At-Risk After-school Food Service Program. 

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The program, which provides free dinnertime meals to children ages 18 and under, makes East Orange the first municipality in New Jersey to formally streamline its summer food program into an after-school program. 

In doing so, we are able to access federal funds to cover the cost of every meal served and take advantage of critical funding for food programs that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) says are among the most underutilized in the nation. 

Kudos to Osner Charles, Director of Recreation & Cultural Affairs, and Ravi Boze-Adams, who manages the city's food programs, for their diligent efforts in fulfilling the rigorous requirements needed to bring these services to East Orange.

East Orange receives USDA Champion Award!

I am also proud to announce that the USDA recognized East Orange with the "Hunger Champion Award" for the expansion of our Summer Food Service Program. We were the only city in North Jersey to receive such recognition this year. Through an aggressive marketing campaign, we served over 100,000 meals at 44 local partnering sites, including city and county parks, schools and summer camps. 

Of the seven cities operating summer food programs in Essex County, we fed the highest percentage of our children in need, reaching approximately 23% of the 9,550 young people who qualify. However, the remaining 77% means that we still have much work to do. 

You can help us by sharing information about our food programs with those who need it the most. Our goal is to make sure that no child is left hungry. 

To learn more, please call the Dept. of Recreation & Cultural Affairs at 973.414.4141 or email teameo@eastorange-nj.gov.