Community Maplewood South Orange Towns

Sponsor a Hungry Child in SOMA through BackPack Pals

Did you know there were food-insecure children living right in our community? Here is a way to directly help children in need in South Orange and Maplewood.

Founded in 2011 and run by Chris Dickson and David Wagner, Rent Party BackPack Pals provides child-friendly, shelf-stable food to children in South Orange and Maplewood. Items are distributed in pre-packaged bags and placed in the children’s backpacks at the end of the school week.

Although many of these children receive free breakfast and lunch in school during the week, the weekends can be a time of little to eat. BackPack pals helps to bridge this gap.

BackPack Pals reaches 70-85 children each year.

“We have a relationship with the social workers in each school throughout the South Orange-Maplewood School District,” Wagner told The Village Green in September. In fact, said Wagner, after a recent meeting the social workers called him back into the room. “They had passed the hat and sponsored one child for the year.”

You can sponsor a child for just $25 for one month, $85 for half a year, and $175 for an entire school year.

BackPack Pals

To sponsor a child or to make a cash donation to BackPack Pals, visit the Rent Party website or send a check made out to Rent Party Pantry, Inc. to 69 Courter Ave, Maplewood, NJ 07040. Those interested in volunteering, can contact David Wagner at [email protected]

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