#RANoHungryChild New Jersey: Bountiful Backpacks

In November 2018, Random Acts encouraged all of our supporters to take part in our annual Endure4Kindness (E4K) event, and as always, you blew us away with your creativity and kindness. Money raised during E4K allows us to sponsor acts of kindness all around the world. Funds from E4K 2018 are also going toward fighting childhood hunger. Whether you challenged yourself with your own E4K activity, spread the word on social media, supported others with their E4K fundraising, or donated to The Bad Idea Tour, your participation is helping to make the world a better place. We love being able to share some of the ways that your hard work is helping to fight food insecurity. 

Next up on our #RANoHungryChild Tour: New Jersey!

Norwescap Logo

Norwescap

Norwescap describes itself as a “private, non-profit corporation.” The organization was founded in 1965 to assist low-income families in Hunterdon, Sussex, and Warren Counties of New Jersey. Since then, Norwescap has expanded to serve Morris and Somerset Counties. Each year, it provides assistance to more than 300,000 people. Norwescap runs several programs, each of which falls under one of its main areas of focus: education, employment, health and wellness, housing and community development, volunteerism, and financial capacity building.       

Fighting Food Insecurity

Norwescap takes several steps to fight food insecurity in its community. It operates a Food Bank, which is a subsidiary of the Feeding America Food Bank. Norwescap’s Food Bank maximizes its impact by providing food to more than 120 local programs, including pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, child care centers, and senior centers. In total, the Food Bank supplies these local organizations with more than 2,000,000 pounds of food each year! 

In addition to distributing food throughout the area, Norwescap’s Food Bank runs a thrift store  and fights food insecurity with multiple programs that focus on ending childhood hunger. Among these childhood hunger programs are the Summer Food Service Program and the Backpack Program.

Norwescap Food Bank Logo

Backpacks Battling Hunger

Many children depend on free breakfast and lunch programs at school as their main source of nutrition. The Backpack Program gives students similar stability over the weekend. Each Friday, Backpack Program participants are given a backpack full of food. These backpacks are carefully packed so that they are full of nutritious food options while remaining light enough for the children to carry. Backpack Program students then return their empty backpacks Monday morning so that they can be re-packed for the following weekend.

Filling Backpacks

When supporter Jennifer Summitt told Random Acts about the work that Norwescap does in her community, we knew they would be a good fit for our New Jersey #RANoHungryChild act. Norwescap currently distributes food backpacks to about 500 children. We know how critical those backpacks are for children struggling with food insecurity, so we decided to focus on helping with Norwescap’s Backpack Program. 

Thanks to your generosity during E4K 2018, Jennifer was able to purchase enough food to fill 85 backpacks for a week. Random Acts then donated an additional $1,000 to Norwescap to fund the purchase of food items that it routinely buys in bulk for the backpacks. Since Norwescap buys in bulk, each dollar donated to them provides 14 pounds of food for those in need! 

We are so thankful for the opportunity to help Norwescap fight childhood hunger in New Jersey. We could not possibly have done it without your ongoing support and generosity. You can learn more about donating, volunteering, or participating in advocacy work with Norwescap on its website

Did reading this fuel your need to fight food insecurity? We encourage you to reach out to your local food bank and explore ways that you can help them. Or, if you have an idea for an act of hunger-fighting kindness in your community, you can tell us about it here. We may be able to help!