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Two-Time USDA Award Winning East Orange Summer Food Program Hosts its First Summer Food Olympics Combating Hunger and Childhood Obesity

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EAST ORANGE, NJ - East Orange Dept. of Recreation and Cultural Affairs’ Summer Food Program received the USDA Champion Award for the second consecutive year at its first ever Summer Food Olympics on August 26, 2017, at Soverel Field. 

During the opening ceremony, Leslie Tejada, Projects Specialist, Office of U.S. Senator Cory A. Booker and Jeremy Julis, Constituent Services Liaison for U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, walked with East Orange Olympians and Summer Food Staff, around Soverel Field, led by a symbolic torch.   

Senator Booker sent a Congratulatory Letter and Senator Menendez sent a Special Senate Recognition Certificate for being awarded the USDA Champion Award for the second year in a row.

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In celebration of having the most successful Summer Food Service program in Essex County, NJ, The City of East Orange was excited to host the first annual Summer Food  Olympics, sponsored in part by the National Recreation and Park Association and the Wal-Mart Foundation. 

”Thanks to the innovative thinking of Director Osner Charles and Food Program Director Ravi Boze-Adams, we have been able to access federal funds to feed children in need” said Mayor Lester E. Taylor III. “I am excited to see that our efforts are recognized on a national level, and hope for the continued success of this program.”

Tim Walsh and Joyce Rouba, from the USDA, presented The East Orange Summer Food Program with its second consecutive award for the continuing enhancements to community engagement and participation, including Summer Kick Off events in every ward of the city, increased marketing, and the development of a Student Ambassador program that introduced peer to peer mentoring on healthy eating practices. 

To learn more about East Orange’s food programs, including the Afterschool Meals Program, please call the Dept. of Recreation and Cultural Affairs at 973.414.4141 or email teameo@eastorange-nj.org

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