Even though our doors remain closed, the Ocean County YMCA has been hard at work in the community serving Crisis Relief Food Boxes, Grab N’ Go Lunches, implementing virtual programming and homework assistance, making reassurance calls to Y family members and providing social outreach.
“Since the start of this pandemic, our promise to you and your family has always been to not let social distancing become social isolation,” said Peter T. Rosario, President and CEO of the Ocean County YMCA. “We have since served thousands of meals, offered critical virtual content for people of all ages, increased telephone outreach initiatives to protect our most vulnerable members, implemented online learning opportunities and remained connected with our followers on social media.”
Feeding the Community
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, around 22 million kids receive free or reduced-cost meals thanks to the National School Lunch Program. However, once the school year ends, only 17 percent of those same kids are able to access free meals over the summer break, leaving many children without these meals.
The Y, in partnership with Toms River Regional Schools, is working to fill that gap by keeping children healthy and well-nourished this summer, ensuring that kids reach their full potential. Approximately 5,000 children receive meals from the National School Lunch Program. The YMCA is located centrally between two schools, Walnut Street School and Joseph A. Citta School, which both have over 50 percent of its students who benefit from the National School Lunch Program.
The Ocean County YMCA will be serving Grab N’ Go meals Monday through Friday from 11am-1pm until the end of August. On June 15, a second location for distribution was added at South Toms River Elementary School to provide for families living in that area of town. Participating youth receive nutritious lunches and snacks daily. This program is the first of its kind in Toms River and is being operated in partnership with the Capital Area YMCA, which is currently providing 2,100 meals daily to residents of the greater Trenton community.
Did you know that some of your contribution might be tax deductible? The CARES Act of 2020, passed into law in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, allows taxpayers to take a deduction for charitable contributions up to $300 ($600 for a married couple).
Prior to the passage of this law, taxpayers who take the standard deduction were not able to receive a tax deduction for any charitable contribution they made. This new provision of the CARES Act makes it possible for any contributor to take a deduction on their taxes for their generosity. Simply click on the Covid Repsonse Appeal Campaign when making your donation to this qualified charity since January 1, 2020 counts toward the $300 deduction limit.