In September 2013, the Princeton Public Schools began to distribute weekend food packs to children in the Princeton schools(K-5)and at the Princeton Nursery School. The parents were encouraged to enroll through an opt-in application process. The same year, SHUPPrinceton established a volunteer board, which represents a cross section of concerned citizens as well as representation from the three partners. The board oversees the program and supports it with advocacy, fund raising, outreach, education, and publicity.
Our Weekend Food Program
The genesis of the SHUPPrinceton initiative. Our weekend food program (or backpack program) provides students with supplemental nutritional resources in order to help stave off hunger over the weekend so that that can return to class on Monday better able to focus on their schoolwork.
To expand our outreach to the community SHUPPrinceton has partnered with Arm in Arm, a successful and like minded provider of food services to those in need. The partnership allows us to reach more children and families in need by providing another point of pick up for supplemental food throughout the year. This is an invaluable partnership because we realize that the need persists even when school is not in session.
The SHUPPrinceton board in collaboration with the YMCA, YWCA and the Princeton Recreation Department expanded the weekend food distribution program to children in need, participating in the different camps through these organizations. SHUPPrinceton provides funding to a new summer school program, Jump Start, provided by the YMCA. Jump Start is an 8-week summer program offering support to children from low income/immigrant households in getting them ready for Kindergarten. Many of these children were not English-speakers and had not attended Pre-K. SHUPPrinceton’s funding covered the expense of the lunches provided to the kids participating in this program.