Winter 2012, a meeting was held at the urging of Princeton Human Services with individuals interested in the plight of those who benefit from food sources Princeton. As a result of this meeting a group was formed to address food insecurity experienced by children in the Princeton School System.
A group was formed to be the driving force behind this newly established initiative now known as Send Hunger Packing Princeton. This group was comprised of members of Princeton Human Services Commission, the Princeton School Board and Mercer Street Friends. Send Hunger Packing Princeton was a direct outgrowth from the already established Mercer Street Friends program known simply as Send Hunger Packing.
June 9, 2013
Much planning by this group and by many other local citizens committed to the success of the school children of Princeton, resulted in a very successful fundraising event held at the Princeton Garden Theater. The event was centered around the showing of the documentary film, A Place at the Table A panel discussion moderated by Elizabeth Hirschhorn Donahue of the Woodrow Wilson School and comprised of the writer and director, Lori Silverbush, Doug Massey, Office of Population Research, Princeton University, Judy Wilson, superintendent of schools and school psychologist, Edwina Hawes. This successful event got the program off to an excellent start. Lead supporters included the Bonner Foundation, Princeton University, Princeton Theological Seminary, Jenny and Jon Crumiller, the Albin Family Foundation. And many community supporters contributed to the effort.
Send Hunger Packing Princeton commences operation. Participants include the Princeton Nursery School and Kindergarten through 5th grade classes at Community Park, Johnson Park, Littlebrook and Riverside Schools.
The second year commences. All participants remain the same.
September 14, 2014
Second awareness raiser and fundraiser is held at Community Park School. Chef Duffy, of TV notoriety, is the featured event. He demonstrated well thought-out meals easy to prepare and of good nutritious value. Another successful event! While the event competed with the annual Princeton Jazz Fest, it captured the front page of the Trenton Times. Its compelling human empathy was the driving force.
The program grows. John Witherspoon Middle School is now a participant.
The program grows again. Through the overseeing of the Princeton YMCA, hot meals are provided to the Jump Start kids in the Johnson Park School during the week. Weekend supplementary meals are provided to these same kids and to kids in the YMCA and YWCA camps, in the Princeton Recreation Camp and in the Princeton Nursery School.
September 20, 2015
The third awareness-raiser and fund-raiser was held at Hinds Plaza in the heart of Princeton. It was a Hunger Banquet, an immersive experience which explored the randomness of who food insecutity can effect. And how important it is that we never take a full stomach for granted.
September 25, 2016
The fourth fund-raiser was again held at Hinds Plaza, and once again was hosted by celebrity chef and huge SHUPP supporter Brian Duffy. Chef Duffy graciously MC'd SHUPP’s "Fill the Bowl’s" fund raiser and did a mouth watering, cooking demonstration. Fill the Bowls also known as Empty Bowls has been a fundraising event around the nation for many years. The event was a mid day, family friendly event. The Bowls were filled by local restaurants who generously provided an assortment of meals to the event participants.
The bowls themselves were hand made by artist, potter and Princeton adjunct professor Adam Welch. The admission fee to the event includes the purchase of one of these beautiful, commemorative bowls. The “take away” from the event was clear and the bowls in each participants cupboard would be a reminder that there are children in our Princeton schools who often experience food insecurity.