TRENTON, N.J. – Each year the New Jersey State Golf Association (NJSGA) Youth Foundation supports deserving youth golf and sports-related programs throughout the state of New Jersey. This support is provided through grants, which are awarded following the Youth Foundation Pro-Am, a four-player team event that’s hosted prior to the New Jersey Open Championship each year.
Mercer Street Friends, a non-profit organization based out of Trenton has been dedicated to providing food to communities that suffer from food insecurity. They also arrange and administer educational opportunities for all levels in the community. The three pillars they focus on is food, family and education.
The organization is part of the Feeding America and the Community Food Bank of New Jersey distribution network, which reaches more than 100 food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, meal sites, senior centers, programs for the disabled and low-income housing sites. In 2021, over 6 million pounds of food, totaling 5 million meals were served.
MSF has the ability to purchase foods at wholesale costs and due to the increase in food costs, this has been essential to the organizations progress and their mission. With the grant provided by the NJSGAs Youth Foundation, MSF can purchase items for the food bank and contribute to ending the hunger crisis.
“Focusing specifically on food, the need is so great and it just it doesn't go away,” explained Courtney Matlock, Chief Development and Marketing Officer at MSF. “Because food is far more expensive right now, basic items like eggs and produce are far more costly.”
MSF also provides weekend meals to students who are in need. The weekend package includes four meals; two for breakfast and two for lunch.
Their educational opportunities reach a plethora of areas, which include after school care, mental health resources, sport activities and much more. The promotion of the well-being of the community is at the forefront of the organizations mission.
“We have a school model for Trenton, which means that we partner with the Trenton School District and they let us know that we need to provide their families with more academic resources and more after school programming, more health resources,” said Matlock. “We staff the schools and we have small teams that go into the schools and the family can come in and explain their needs then they’ll find a program that he or she would be interested in. It could be the arts, golf, or reading.”
MSF offers multiple areas for volunteers to get involved and support Mercer Street Friends. Click here to learn more.
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