Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora announced the start of Trenton’s Summer Meals program and a new companion website that makes it easy to locate free grab-n-go meals for children, teens, and seniors at numerous sites across the city.

Sponsored by the City of Trenton’s Department of Recreation: Natural Resources & Culture, Mercer Street Friends, and the Capital Area YMCA, the Trenton Summer Meals program will provide free meals to youth under ages 18 Monday through Friday. The meals are being provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, which administers the Summer Food Service Program.

“The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted many summer programs and increased the need for food across the city,” said Mayor Gusciora. “We’re grateful for the collaboration and innovation among our partners at Mercer Street Friends, Trenton Health Team, and the Capital Area YMCA who put together another valuable resource for our communities when they need it the most.”

To aid families in finding local, up-to-date information about Summer Meals sites, as well as food pantries and other free food distribution opportunities for adults, seniors, and children, Trenton’s Health Team has created an easy-to-use online directory of food services that includes an interactive map. To use the directory, visit www.trentonhealthteam.org/food.

“It is critically important that the community is aware of where and when they can access food this summer,” said Mercer Street Friends CEO Bernie Flynn. “I’m proud of the nonprofit leadership who came together to work with the Trenton Health Team to provide usable, accurate food site information and we greatly appreciate the support of the Mayor, his team and County officials.”

To receive a free meal at one of the sites, there are no requirements for registration or income certifications, and parents are not required to give any personal information about their children.

“Although feeding children in the City of Trenton is not new to any of the partners in this collaboration; doing it in such a coordinated manner is new to how we deliver the service,” said Capital Area YMCA CEO Samuel T. Frisby Sr. “Because the need has never been greater, the stakes couldn’t be higher and the YMCA is proud to support our community with these partners at this time.”

With the COVID-19 pandemic being burdensome as it already is, the access and availability of healthy food resources is scarce. The Trenton Summer Meals program will encourage people to eat healthily while also ensuring that a wide range of individuals have access to healthy foods.

“Access to fresh, healthy, affordable food is a critical issue in Trenton,” said Trenton Health Team Executive Director Gregory Paulson. “This already challenging situation has been made worse by the Coronavirus pandemic.”

This valuable collaboration of the Trenton Food Stakeholders, which represents over 50 community organizations across the city of Trenton, will not only supply individuals with food, but will also stress the importance of improving food access and nutrition in Trenton Households; all while meeting the food needs of the Trenton community at large.