Melanie Richman of Myerwood Farms, Pilesgrove, N.J., a Holstein calf, New Jersey State Dairy Princess Brittany Smith, and Philadephia Eagles player Avonte Maddox joined 150 students in Camden, N.J., on Monday, to kick off the city’s Summer Meals program. Established by USDA to fill the nutritional gap families face during the summer, ADA North East joins forces with local community groups to support the program and to secure dairy’s place as part of healthy meals. Richman brought the calf to help the kids make the connection to where their food comes from.
The kickoff informed the community about the availability of free breakfast and lunch, which include milk, at more than 100 locations across Camden. Many families are not aware that meals are still available when school is out and may need to spend up to $300 a month to feed children during the summer months. To find a Summer Meals site, families can text “SUMMER MEALS” to 97779.
Attendees enjoyed a healthy lunch with milk, along with a yogurt smoothie/parfait station. Special guests included Camden Senior Director of School Nutrition Arlethia Brown; Camden Mayor Vic Carstarpahn; Camden City School District Superintendent Katrina McCombs; Camden County Commissioner Carmen Rodreiguez; and New Jersey Department of Agriculture Summer Food Service Program Assistant Coordinator Robin Wilson.