At-risk schoolchildren in South Orange and Maplewood benefit from the district's free breakfast and lunch programs.
But those same children may face the prospect of a weekend without food.
To bridge that hunger gap, Rent Party BackPack Pals provides weekend meals for children in need who attend SOMA schools. Volunteers assemble packs of kid-friendly, shelf-stable food such as canned pasta meals, fruit cups, boxed milk and cereal bars, and place them directly into students' backpacks on Friday afternoons or before school holidays..
Last year, the program delivered 1,036 packs of food to local children.
To identify children who would benefit from the program, organizers David Wagner and Chris Dickson work closely with The Parenting Center and the district's social workers.
"I met with all the school's social workers last week," said Wagner, "and they will be contacting me soon to let me know the number of children in their schools that could benefit from our program," said Wagner. "We are always looking for volunteers," he added.
Planning to attend tonight's Rent Party concert? Bring along a box of breakfast or cereal bars for BackPack Pals.
To contribute to the program or to volunteer, contact David Wagner at (201) 563-7858. Learn more at www.rentpartylive.com.