The teen volunteers of Center For Family Services - Quixote Quest program, are focused on an ongoing effort to address hunger issues that affect children in Camden. This is specifically in response to the concern that school nurses and key teachers have expressed about certain children not getting enough to eat over the weekends when school breakfast and lunches are not available to them.
The New Jersey Department of Education reports that nearly 95% of Camden City students qualify for free or reduced price lunch. Quixote Quest members have learned from faculty and staff that many children go hungry on weekends and holiday breaks when school breakfast and lunch is not available to them.
In order to address this critical need, Quixote Quest teens, known as the Qrew, established An Apple A Day, a program providing a reusable bag containing wholesome, non-perishable food items each week to children identified by their schools as food insecure.
Food purchased by the Quixote Quest members is delivered to the nurse’s office at the selected schools each Friday. The children participating in the program can come to the office before they leave at the end of the day with their An Apple A Day bag and receive the food items for the weekend. This discreet design intentionally protects the dignity of the children and families benefiting from the program.
The teens behind An Apple A Day have demonstrated their investment in the project, through their participation in securing funding for its operation. Utilizing their unique InQind strategy, Quixote Quest members organized a flea market in April, raising nearly $1500 for An Apple A Day. This initial funding covered the cost of the project’s three-month pilot phase in Spring 2015.
The Francis Fund is providing $10,000 in critically needed resources to expand the capacity of established community-based organizations who are currently serving persons in the greater Philadelphia region who are experiencing hunger, homeless, or trafficking. The fund supports groups that strongly reflect the values and spirit of Pope Francis’ special concerns for persons on the margins in hopes that funds raised will strengthen their work.
With the gift from the Francis Fund and more InQind efforts organized by the Qrew, Quixote Quest and Center For Family Services plan to expand this program to help more children who struggle with hunger issues. To make a donation to support An Apple A Day, mail checks to Center For Family Services, Development Office at 584 Benson Street, Camden, NJ 08103 or donate online to the Quixote Quest program at Center For Family Services at https://centerffs.org/donate/enhance-volunteer-impact