Local children who might have skipped lunch this summer are being fed wholesome, nutritious lunches as part of the United States Department of Agriculture’s program to target low-income families during the period when schools are not in session.  The free summer lunch program is available for children under the age of 18 at Project Self-Sufficiency, Monday – Friday, 11:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m., through August 31st.   There are no income eligibility requirements, but children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  Although registration is not required, advance enrollment is encouraged to ensure that enough food will be available.  Registration can be done online, or by calling Project Self-Sufficiency.  The agency is located at 127 Mill Street in Newton.

Approximately 402,000 New Jersey youths receive free or reduced-price meals during the school year.  The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) ensures that low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session.  The Summer Lunch Program at Project Self-Sufficiency is catered by New-Way Concessionaire, Inc.; the menu will change each day. 

“Project Self-Sufficiency is committed to helping families in our area to achieve economic self-sufficiency and family stability, and that goal goes hand-in-hand with addressing the issue of hunger in our community,” notes Deborah Berry-Toon, Executive Director of Project Self-Sufficiency.   In addition to the summer lunch program, the agency offers participants access to a food pantry.  On-site community gardens provide fresh-grown produce to participating families during the spring, summer and fall.

The Summer Food Service Program is a federal program of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services and the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.  Meals are available without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.  Caregivers must remain with children while at Project Self-Sufficiency.  Adults wishing to participate may purchase lunch with advanced registration.  The meal program is free to eligible children; advance registration for each child is encouraged.  To find out more about the Summer Lunch Program, or any of the other services available at Project Self-Sufficiency, visit www.projectselfsufficiency.org or call 973-940-3500 or 844-807-3500.