On Saturday, September 12, the Lions Club of New Providence and Summit donated an astounding 1000 pounds of poultry to the Summit Area YMCA to be distributed by Y volunteers to local families in need. The food distribution event was held in the back parking lot of the Summit YMCA, where 9 Summit Area YMCA volunteers drove by to pick up poultry packages to deliver to families who were unable to come pick up.

50 families who are part of the Summit Area YMCA's financial assistance program, Family Backpack Program, Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) and local Summit residents in need also stopped by to pick up their poultry packages. 

“The Summit Lions Club has collaborated with The Summit YMCA on a number of precious initiatives including last year’s Rise Against Hunger Event where we came together to package 25,000 packaged meals for those in need. The Summit Lions Club shares with the Summit Area YMCA a commitment to helping those in our very own town, especially during this difficult pandemic." said Janet Russell, President of The Summit Lions Club. "The Summit Lions is happy to donate 250 pounds of chicken, representing our fundraising proceeds from our Rise Up/Stock Up Fundraiser, to the Summit YMCA for distribution through their outreach to local seniors and families in need."

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The Summit Area YMCA is dedicated to strengthening community through not only their various wellness facilities and health programs, but by addressing food insecurity. We deeply believe that children and adults who have access to healthy food is one of the first steps towards being able to thrive. Through the Family Backpack Program, Summit YMCA volunteers delivered weekly Friday food packs from the Community Food Bank of New Jersey to Summit students enrolled in subsidized school meals during the school year so that they and their families may have access to food over the weekends.

"We sent out surveys to capture interest and to collect data on the need within our community," said Patty Facchinei, Volunteer and Financial Assistance Coordinator of the Summit YMCA. "Since June, the back pack program ended for the school year and we are now holding the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program because the kids were no longer in school and families were stuck in quarantine with no access to food in the summer. The CFAP will last through October until the Family Back Pack Program resumes. To date, we have 299 Summit families signed up and over 60 Springfield families. We get new participants showing up each week and we sign them up on the spot."

In August, the Summit Area YMCA expanded their program to Springfield with the help of the new Superintendent, Rachel Goldberg. Healthy food packs were distributed in the Springfield High School parking lot, while volunteers delivered to local families in Summit and Springfield.

To volunteer with the Summit Area YMCA, visit www.thesay.org/volunteer

To learn more about the Family Backpack Program and Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, visit www.thesay.org/fbpp

Learn more about the New Providence Lions Club, https://www.nplions.org/ and Summit Lions Club, https://www.summitlionsclub.org/.

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About the Summit Area YMCA
The Summit Area YMCA is one of the area’s leading 501(c)(3) charitable organizations. Founded in 1886, the Summit Area YMCA has a history steeped in working side-by-side with our neighbors to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, income and background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Each year, we serve over 15,000 individuals with our free and fee-based programs and services in an area spanning the communities of Berkeley Heights, Gillette, Millburn, New Providence, Short Hills, Springfield, Stirling and Summit. Through the generosity of our members, donors, and partners, we are able to offer financial assistance for our programs and services to those with demonstrated need.