Area student works to distribute nutritionally balanced food to those in need

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SPRINGFIELD / SUMMIT, NJ — Yash Shah, a junior at Morristown Beard School, launched the Health and Hunger Initiative, a program seeking to distribute nutritionally balanced food kits to local residents facing food insecurity.

“It’s simply the right thing to do,” Yash said. “We can all play a small part in solving this big issue, starting from our own neighborhoods.”

Having witnessed families in New Jersey struggling to put food on their tables during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Yash first started running food drives at his school, collecting and donating more than 3,000 pounds of food. This year, he sought to combine his passion for helping the community with his knowledge in nutrition to build this initiative, which aims to address food insecurity with healthy food options in New Jersey.

Yash first sources the food from both donations and purchases, then packages them in a nutritionally balanced way, in accordance with USDA guidelines.

To support the initiative, drop off food donations at the collection boxes located in the Summit Free Public Library, 75 Maple St.; Springfield Free Public Library, 66 Mountain Ave.; or Millburn Free Public Library, 200 Glen Ave., starting Jan. 4. Supporters can also make a monetary donation to the project through its GoFundMe — all proceeds will go toward acquiring food for donation.

For further information and the link to the GoFundMe page, visit