Stepping Up To Fill The Gap With Emergency Meals For Ocean County Kids

While state officials work to advance Lakewood schools’ budget, Fulfill provides breakfast and lunch to children in the Girl Scouts of Jersey Shore summer program.

Fulfill stepped up to help Lakewood public school children in a summer program left without meals. Due to a state budget cut of over $30 million for Lakewood schools, student programs were shut down, leaving local children hungry.

“Monday morning at 10 o’clock, I was called by the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore (GSJS). Their summer feeding program had just been shut down because of State budget cuts. They had about 125 young girls from Lakewood in a summer program at Georgian Court who were not going to get breakfast or lunch if we weren’t able to help.” said Fulfill President and CEO, former Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno. Because Fulfill already serves 1000s of children breakfast and lunch during the summer, we assured the Girl Scouts that their children would eat the next day.

GSJS runs a six-week literacy program called “Girls Are Great” on the campus of Georgian Court University. The program works to ensure that girls from Lakewood do not fall into what is known as “the summer slide”. When part of the program’s funding was pulled, the meals went with it.

Fulfill’s staff was able to fix the problem within hours. “No one should ever go hungry, least of all a child,” said Guadagno. “These children did not miss a meal because Fulfill stepped up and filled the gap while others fixed the budget crisis. I am so proud of what our team was able to accomplish in such a short time and I am pleased the Girl Scouts knew to call us.”

“In order for the “Girls are Great” program to be effective, breakfast and lunch are vital to its success. The families we work with have come to trust and rely on the fact that their children will receive nutritious meals. Our families have enough to worry about, so this takes the pressure off any financial burdens for food…Thanks to Fulfill stepping in so quickly and without hesitation, our “Girls Are Great” participants have continued support. It takes a village to raise a child, we are grateful to all those who support the success of these girls.” said Awilda Rivera, Director of Programs at the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore.

Fulfill is fully prepared and ready to assist other summer programs that are in need of meals. Over the summer, Fulfill cooks and deliver 12,500 summer meals to 29 sites throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties at no cost to the children or their families.