The BJ’s donation will provide fresh food to children across the region through the Maryland Food Bank’s Hunger-Free Summer Mobile and School Pantry Programs.
“BJ’s is committed to nourishing our communities and helping families thrive, and we’re excited to support the Maryland Food Bank’s Hunger-Free Summer Mobile and School Pantry Programs,” said Kirk Saville, executive director, BJ’s Charitable Foundation. “Hunger-relief programs are crucial for children and families who lose access to school lunches in the summer. Through our partnership with Feeding America, we’re helping to provide access to fresh, healthy food to families when school is out for the summer.”
With BJ’s $100,000 grant, the Maryland Food Bank will be able to increase the amount of fresh, nutritious food distributed during the Summer Club Hours and School Pantry Programs to assure every child and family can take additional food home.
“Our child-focused feeding programs are critical during the summer months when children lose access to school meals,” said Carmen Del Guercio, President & CEO of the Maryland Food Bank. “We’re grateful to BJ’s because this donation will allow us to increase the amount of healthy food we can distribute to children and families this summer.”
During the school year, more than 22 million children receive free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs. In the summer months, fewer than 4 million children receive free or reduced-priced meals through the USDA Summer Food Service Program. From mobile and school pantries to congregate meal sites in public areas like summer camps, the Feeding America network operates different program models to increase the number of meals provided to children over the summer.
Since 2009, BJ’s has provided ongoing support to Feeding America through the BJ’s Charitable Foundation and BJ’s Feeding Communities® program, helping local food banks successfully expand their programs to reach wider and more diverse audiences.
In addition to summer programming and capacity-building grants from the BJ’s Charitable Foundation, BJ’s has secured over 70 million pounds of donated food, including fresh produce, frozen meats and fish, baked goods and dairy items, and helped distribute 58 million meals to neighbors in need through the BJ’s Feeding Communities® program.