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Because a child can't thrive on an empty stomach

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My tummy hurts...
One day last Spring, my 9 year old daughter came home from school and told me about a classmate of hers who had been so hungry that day, his tummy was growling loud enough for her to hear it. She noticed him squirming in his seat and asked him what was wrong. He told her that his tummy and his head hurt because he had not had anything to eat that day. He said that he had not finished his homework, and so had to stay in class during lunchtime to finish. He told her that he went to the cafeteria after he was done, but by that time the cafeteria was closed, and he had not been able to get anything to eat.

It was very heartbreaking to hear that a young student in our community had gone hungry, even for one day! I immediately contacted the principal of our school who investigated and confirmed that this had happened, then acted quickly to resolve it. First, by counseling this young boy that if he ever experienced hunger again to say something and someone would ensure he was fed. Secondly, the teachers were instructed to ensure that when a child needed to stay in class to catch up on schoolwork during the lunch hour, they would first get their lunch then take it back to the classroom to eat their lunch while doing their schoolwork if necessary.

The incident brought home the fact that childhood hunger is an issue that exists in our own community. It is a comfort to know that thanks to SHUPP, our students now have supplemental meals to get them through the weekend.

Princeton Parent
Providing Supplementary meals
on the weekend

Our Concern

Almost 500 local children, 12% of the school population, qualify for free or subsidized school lunches during the week. But there is no help for them on the weekends. This striking need for supplemental food on the weekends led to a reach out to Mercer Street Friends to bring their Send Hunger Packing program into Princeton.

Our Mission

The mission of SHUPPrinceton is to provide child-friendly supplemental weekend food through community organization and financial support.

Our Team

Ending hunger in our schools is an ongoing task which requires the hard work of lots of committed volunteers

Our Effort

SHUPP is a collaborative effort of the Princeton Human Services Commission, Mercer Street Friends a local 501(c)3, and the Princeton School District.
In September 2013, the Princeton Public Schools began to distribute weekend food backpacks, provided by Mercer Street Friends, to children in the Princeton schools (K-5 so far) and at the Princeton Nursery School. To date, SHUP has distributed over 2800 meals in this way.

Thank you to everyone who made our recent friendraiser a success.

How can you help?

Thanks for visiting the SHUPP web site.

Please consider lending a hand.


Or to donate by check:

Please make checks payable to Mercer Street Friends
Please type "SHUPP" on the memo line of the check.

Send Payments To:
Princeton Human Services
One Monument Hall
Princeton, NJ 08540

What a terrific job you've done. I'm excited about being back on PHSC. So much has changed in town. It's clearly a whole new day over there and I'm eager to roll up my sleeves and work with you all.


Well done and an impressive first year accomplishment! Keep up the good work.


Kudos to you and your team


These are amazing accomplishments, Ross. We're proud of what you and the Human Services Commission were able to accomplish in regard to the number of children served, and proud that the Commission intends to continue and improve the program.


Hunger can go by many names: food insecurity, food hardships, food shortages, meal gaps. Regardless of the chosen terminology, it is a consequence of poverty and the result of food not always being available, affordable and or accessible to people with insufficient financial resources. Together we can change this state of affairs.




Learn more about Send Hunger Packing.

Stay Informed

Children's Budget Coalition Letter Supporting Strong Federal Nutrition Standards for Children

Children's Health Fund

Jan 2, 2015

We the undersigned children’s organizations write to urge you to value scientific research for child anti-hunger and nutrition programs and reject moves to roll back and change the positive nutrition standards already set in these programs. more


Send Hunger Packing…The Year in Review

June 2014

To all of those interested in the well being of our students who are not always certain of their weekend meals, we wanted to update you on the progress of Princeton’s Send Hunger Packing Program (SHUP), our plans for potential expansion of the program, and ways you can help. more


Serving Princeton Newsletter

Issue 1 2014

A peroidic update from the Princeton Human Services Commission more


Send Hunger Packing across the nation

YouTube Video May, 5 2013

How Care and Share Food Bank & Century Link are helping Bricker Elementary School combat child hunger the video

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Thank you for visiting our web site and your interest in Send Hunger Packing Princeton. We hope you are inspired to get involved in some small way.


Princeton Human Services
One Monument Hall
Princeton, NJ 08540




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