Education

Nonprofit Profile: Bring Dinner Home, helping children in need

From our print edition

By ROI-NJ Staff
Cedar Knolls | November 6, 2017 at 11:44 am

By ROI-NJ Staff
November 6, 2017 at 11:44 am

Bring Dinner Home
Students at Camden Street School in Newark benefit from Bring Dinner Home.

Origin

Founded in in 2011 by Amy and Monica C. Smith, who recognized that there is an undeniable and profound connection between hunger and a child’s ability to succeed in school and in life. That’s why, in partnership with Principal Sam Garrison, Monica and Amy chose to adopt Camden Street Elementary School for the “Bring Dinner Home” program. Their goal was to offer children and their families meaningful proof that others care about their well-being and futures. As the school motto promises, Camden Street is where students get the skills they need to achieve their dreams.

Mission

  • Provide nutritional food and basic essentials for children so they are ready to learn.
  • Support their families with a private room where they can get clothing, diapers, books and do laundry.
  • Provide coats so that children can be sure to make it to school during harsh winter days.
  • Distribute grocery store gift cards to help feed families.
  • Encourage reading by providing books yearlong and supporting the literacy program.

Our overarching desire is for other companies to join our cause, and adopt another school to help their students learn.

Goals

We are looking to engage at least one company to follow our lead. By demonstrating the positive benefits of supporting families, and feeding children, we are proving that these children will have the opportunities to thrive and grow.

Programs

For Camden Street School, we host an annual Thanksgiving Day dinner, feeding close to 1,000 people. Coats, diapers, books and grocery store gift cards are distributed that evening. Yearlong sustainability is also provided for the Camden Cares Room, by providing supplies such as diapers, school supplies, books, food and health care products that can be distributed to families in crisis. Donations to Bring Dinner Home also help support the school’s STEAM room for early enriched learning.

Supporting key initiatives such as Martin Luther King Day, family events, etc., are part of the program as well.

Achievements

In 2016, we were able to fund and open a Camden Cares Room, which provides families yearlong support, providing supplies along with the ability to wash and dry clothes. Additionally, a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) room was opened, targeted to younger children to get them motivated to learn beyond the core curriculum.

The students’ test scores have improved an average of 6 percent a year, student attendance has improved by 15 percent, along with teacher retention, which is now at 95 percent.

Fundraising

We connect with clients, vendors and companies who are looking to make a difference. We ask these companies to donate funds and coats and volunteer their time. A substantial percentage of our employees volunteer their time, as well as donate financially and donate coats.

Benefactors

Our generous clients and vendors, as well as friends of Marketsmith Inc. — past employees, former clients, business associates and friends from various business and nonprofit organizations.

Sponsors

  • Deloitte
  • Shark Ninja
  • Connect One Bank
  • EisnerAmper
  • Steve Netzley
  • Horizon Media
  • The Bill Konigsberg Foundation
  • Glenn DeKraker-Core Media
  • Marketsmith Inc.

Finally

The Thanksgiving Bring Dinner Home event is the signature event at Camden Street School that defines the caring and supportive environment that the school provides. Teachers, administrators and staff all participate, as well as vendors and client volunteers.

Where: Cedar Knolls
Serving: Newark, Boonton and other communities that have children and families in need.
Key members: Monica C. and Amy Smith
Want to help? For more information, go to: bringdinnerhome.org or call Anne Picone at 973-889-0006.

2017-11-08T08:28:21+00:00
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