How We Got Here
June 9, 2013
September 14, 2014
September 14, 2014
September 20, 2015
Thanksgiving in January. Extending the holiday season, the SHUPP board decided to give to all SHUPP participants a $25 gift card to Shop Rite. In the words of one parent, “Wow, this is such a great gift! Not sure why they did it, but we are grateful.”
he program continued as it did in 2015. The challenge for summers is that, unlike during the school year, the children are not in the 6 schools. Those who attend camps are available, but this is a fraction of those who receive food during the school year. Fruits and vegetables are provided from the Farmers Market at Hinds Plaza, primarily from Terhune’s and Cherry Orchard Farm. The families truly appreciate this fresh food option, which is difficult during the school year when the farmers market is operated only one per month and fresh produce is not available.
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.
2016-2017 School Year
The program continued and the challenges of the previous years continued. It is difficult to make inroads in encouraging older students to participate. Meal costs from Mercer Street Friends was increased to $6.00 during the first part of the school year, but reduced by January back to the $5.00 per weekend pack. The weekly meals are close to 150 packs per week, a number which varies from week to week. SHUPP does endeavor to provide extra packs when approaching holidays and this school year was no different. In April, extra packs for the Spring Break were distributed.
The difficulty of reaching students during the summer continued. This summer, SHUPP collaborated with Cornerstone Community Kitchen with Trenton’s Division of Recreating being the sponsor of a summer feeding program. The collaboration among the organizations was strong. The idea was to provide free breakfast to children under 18 at Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church. Unfortunately, it was a good effort but was closed shortly after starting due to poor participation. Once again, SHUPP provided meals for the Jump Start program, a program that helps prepare children for the start of their education in Kindergarten. This year, SHUPP, together with the Johnson Park Coco Fund, provided funding for meals at the Princeton Recreation Department’s summer camp. The program was successful, and the collaboration with the Recreation Department was seamless.
September 24, 2017
The fifth fundraiser. This time the theme is Salsa and Salsa. There were 3 primary focuses of this event. The first was sales of bowls again made by Adam Welch. The second was a Salsa contest with local restaurant participants. The winner was 2 Sevens. And the third was Salsa dancing led by a local Salsa group. The focus on the food insecurity way too prominent in Princeton remained.
SHUPP will now be expanding its services to provide weekend meal packs to approximately 15 additional children who participate in the Free and Reduced Lunch Program at the Princeton Charter School. This will increase the number of children served to about 140.
January 1, 2018
A major milestone for SHUPP. It has now been granted full status as its own non-profit 501C-3 Corporation. After years of operating under the aegis of Mercer Street Friends, Send Hunger Packing Princeton now stands alone. It now works with Mercer Street Friends which provides the meals SHUPP purchases.
Recognizing that SHUPP hasn’t been working well in John Witherspoon Middle School, recognizing that there is a reluctance by the students to accept food because of social reasons, SHUPP partnered with Arm in Arm at their Nassau Presbyterian food pantry to offer an alternative. Rather than provide weekly packages of food at the school, parents of the students could visit the pantry once per month and “buy” family friendly food including items like fresh produce and frozen chickens. At this point we are not convinced that this was a successful alternative
The process continues. Jump Start at JP continues. This year SHUPP partnered with the Princeton Childrens fund and the Rec Department to cover the cost of lunches for the scholarship campers which represented 162 kids. The program ensured that all kids, regardless of financial considerations, received exactly the same meals.
September 23, 2018
Family Fun Day is on this Sunday as SHUPP’s annual fundraiser and awareness raiser. The theme of the day is fun with DJ’s, face painting, photo booth, popcorn, pretzels, ice cream and more.
Another Fall program begins. Process remains firm. The tri-party of the the SHUPP, MSF and the Princeton Schools continue to handle their respective roles. The elementary students continue to receive the weekend packs as requested.
The story continues. Stay tuned to the article in the Back to School edition of the Princeton Magazine. SHUPP is proud to acknowledge this article and recognition of the role it plays in the life cycle of the Princeton students.