Starbucks donates $100,000 to provide weekend meals for students in Trenton

Trenton Superintendent of Schools James Earle helps pack food bags for students on Thursday at the Starbucks in Trenton.

Starbucks has awarded a $100,000 grant to Mercer Street Friends and the Community Food Bank of New Jersey to support the Send Hunger Packing program.

Trenton Superintendent James Earle and Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora helped pack meals for students at the Starbucks Trenton Community store on Thursday for the grant award announcement.

Food will be distributed to students through Mercer Street Friends’ Send Hunger Packing program,
which helps feed food insecure students over the weekend when they lack access to school meals.
The food packing event was held to celebrate a $100,000 grant provided by Starbucks as part of the company’s $1.7 million commitment to Feeding America food banks in support of efforts to increase access to nutritious food among households of people of color in communities experiencing high food insecurity rates.

The support will be used to fund Send Hunger Packing in Trenton, where bags provided through the program contain healthy, kid-friendly foods, such as cereal, oatmeal, peanut butter, jelly, juice boxes, and more.

“I learned the value of the Send Hunger Packing program during my time in the West Windsor Plainsboro School District and am so pleased with the comprehensive provision of weekend meals provided by Mercer Street Friends to our students in Trenton,” said Earle. “The wonderful support of Starbucks, Feeding America, and the Community Food Bank of New Jersey to help ensure that our students have access to nutritious meals each and every day is critical to their health and well-being.”

Nationwide, people of color are more likely to live in food insecure households, according to Feeding America. The pandemic and its economic effects have only widened this gap. With this in mind, food banks that received equitable food access grants from Starbucks were identified based on the locations of Starbucks Community Stores, which are committed to economic development and opportunity in historically under-resourced communities.

“We are thrilled to have Starbucks so engaged in the Trenton Community and this generous grant dedicated to the Send Hunger Packing Program is another example of their commitment to our children and their families,” Gusciora said.