Community Government Maplewood

Rent Party Donation Extends Summer Meals Program in Maplewood for 2 More Weeks

At the August 6 Maplewood Township Committee meeting, Maplewood health official Candice Davenport reported that more than 900 breakfast and lunch meals had been served to local kids in Maplecrest Park through this program. A generous donation from Rent Party is keeping the program running through August 23.

From Rent Party:

This year the Township of Maplewood became a satellite site for the U.S.D.A. Summer Food Service Program, through a partnership with the Township of Irvington, Recreation Department and the Maplewood Department of Community Service, Public Health Division. Since the program started on July 15, the summer meals program has provided over 900 breakfasts and lunches to children, and it is open and free to all children, aged 18 years and under. The USDA Food Service Program is also available to adults 19 and over in public/ private non-profit school program for the mentally or physically disabled.

The initial four week pilot program, which had the support of the South Orange Maplewood Board of Education and the Maplewood Township Committee was scheduled to end on August 9. However, the attendance and response from the community has been so positive, it has been realized that these meals substantially help families and ease the financial burden of providing food for their children during these summer months. Rent Party has offered to support the extension of the program for an additional two weeks, giving families that additional boost of a reliable meal through August 23.

Rent Party founder Chris Dickson said, “We are delighted to support this program and to help insure that kids in our community have enough to eat.” Dickson added, “It’s well documented that the summer months are very challenging for food-insecure families. This program does a great job addressing that.”

Started in 2009, Rent Party is a once a month live music event at The Woodland in Maplewood. The proceeds from their shows help fight hunger in Maplewood and South Orange. They financially support three local food pantries. They built and maintain a large community garden on the front lawn of the South Orange Elks that raises fresh produce for the pantries they support. Rent Party’s BackPack Pals program provides a weekend’s worth of nutritious food to about 100 food-insecure kids in our schools. For more information, visit

The Maplewood Summer Meals Site is located in Maplecrest Park, on the corner of Boyden Parkway South and Essex Ave. People should look for the white tents and green covered picnic tables. Breakfast is served from 8:00 AM – 8:45 and lunch is served from 11:30 AM –  1:30 PM.

As per the Office of Secretary of the U.S.D.A., the summer food program does not discriminate on the basis of sex, color, age, disability or national origin.

For any questions, please contact Natalie Julien at the Irvington Recreation Department at (973) 399-6298 or Candice Davenport, Maplewood Public Health Division (973) 762-8120 x4300.

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