Project Caring for Juniors (Project CJ) is a food assistance program that benefits students from low-income families who attend Title One elementary schools in San Antonio. The goal of Project CJ is to help ensure that children have healthy snacks and enough food options during their time away from school, including weekends. For a school to qualify as a Title One school, at least 40% of students must be enrolled in their“free and reduced lunch program.” Project CJ focuses on these schools and partners with educators and community leaders to identify children in need.

Along with our partners, we deliver snack packs of canned meals, nutrition bars, bottled water, and other small snacks to children at Title One schools throughout San Antonio. We also send extra snack packs home with students who have siblings that are too young to attend school. Project CJ food is delivered on Thursdays to help focus on the weekend ahead.

Project CJ is important because The United Nations World Food Program says in its 2013 State of School Feeding Worldwide report that disbursing meals and snacks to students has proven beneficial. A malnourished child is almost 20 percent more likely to have trouble reading than someone of the same age who has a good diet. Supplying free lunches to students in rural primary schools not only made them healthier, but it raised their test scores too. Students who received school meals were better able to memorize and retain important information, which is why we ensure these students also get fed a healthy meal when they’re not in school.

We’re thankful for the volunteers that work with us on Project CJ and all of our community outreach programs. They’re helping us make a difference in the lives of underprivileged children throughout San Antonio.If you want to help too, visit our website for more information.