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United Way of Northern New Jersey, LIVE UNITED
United Way of Northern New Jersey-Backpack Program

Our Work » HEALTH

United Way Backpack Program

Summary of Our Work

In the 2009-10 school year, 2,800 Warren County children (grades K-12) were receiving either free- or reduced-lunch subsidies through the National School Lunch program.

Source: NJ Department of Agriculture, NSLPADA Report, August 2011

In the United States, more than one out of six children lives in a household with food insecurity, which means they do not always know where they will find their next meal, and are unable to consistently access nutritious and adequate amounts of food necessary for a healthy life.  Proper nutrition is vital to the growth and development of children.  United Way of Northern New Jersey is committed to ensuring that all of our children have access to the basic necessities of life, including an adequate diet.

It’s been well documented that children who arrive at school hungry have difficulty concentrating and achieving their potential. United Way research shows that nearly 30 percent of all northern New Jersey households do not earn enough to afford the basic necessities of food, housing, child care, transportation, and health care. 

The United Way Backpack Program works to alleviate this hunger in all children in our Warren County communities.

United Way Backpack Program Mission

The mission of the United Way Backpack Program is to provide a critical safety net against childhood hunger, supplying adequate nutrition for children throughout the year.

The United Way Backpack Program goals are:

  • To partner with the public, private, faith-based, and nonprofit sectors to improve access to sufficient food for all children
  • To improve the health and educational achievement of all children by providing adequate nutrition throughout the year 
  • To identify children in need and respond to their hunger issues
  • To advocate for policies and legislation that improve access to food and prevent situations where food is lacking for all children in our communities
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