It’s been a busy 2022 for Share My Meals! Across our programs, SMM delivered over 65,000 meals this year serving 1,000 food-insecure people each week. As we head into our winter break we thought we’d take a minute and reflect on our year and how we’ve worked to bring healthy, recovered meals to those families and individuals facing food insecurity in our region.
Fast Paced Growth in our Meal Recovery Program
Our Meal Recovery Program (or MRP for short) is the heart of what Share My Meals does. Working with a network of local food donors, we recover healthy prepared meals and deliver them to families, seniors and organizations in need. We started the year with 3 food donors and have since grown to over 30! We are on track to recover almost 35,000 meals through MRP this year.
The MRP has the potential to be a significant source of meals for food insecure individuals and we continue to experiment with the best way to connect meal donors with people in need. We’ve been working to optimize our home delivery model through which we deliver meals from donors directly to the homes of families or seniors in the Princeton area. In addition, we’ve been working with a variety of community partners in the Princeton, Trenton and Somerville areas with the aim of expanding the positive impact of food recovery to new geographies in the state. Currently, we are working with over 15 community partners supporting vulnerable communities providing them with a variety of recovered foods.
Support For Our Families and New Partnerships Through NJ’s Sustain & Serve Program
Share My Meals continued to receive funding through the State of New Jersey’s Sustain & Serve Program. Sustain & Serve has been a critical program during COVID-19 allowing non profits to buy meals at cost from local restaurants and deliver to food insecure families and seniors. Since the inception of this program in 2020 we’ve been able to help more than 220 families with children throughout the region.
With the most recent round of funding, Share My Meals has sought to build partnerships with community organizations who serve vulnerable populations. Our aim has been to establish these new partnerships and then transition them into our Meal Recovery Program. Through Sustain & Serve we’ve developed strong relationships with organizations like Rescue Mission in Trenton and deepened our connection to organizations like Cornerstone Community Kitchen in Princeton. Sustain and Serve funding has also been critical to the families we serve directly, supplementing our recovered meal program during leaner times such as the holidays and summer breaks.
With Gratitude for Our Volunteers, Partners and Donors
Our work is possible because of the amazing support of so many:
- Our meal donors who provide healthy surplus meals and other foods to our program,
- Our community partners who work with us to expand the potential and impact of recovered meals,
- Our volunteers who come day in and day out to bring meals to our families, seniors and community partners, and
- Our donors who provide critical financial support for our staff who work tirelessly to make sure the food gets to those who need it.
Thank you to all for your interest and support of Share My Meals. We could not do it without you!