Free summer meals program to be unveiled in Newark

NEWARK, NJ — A press conference on Wednesday, June 29, at 3 p.m., is launching the 2016 free Summer Meals Program for youth aged 18 and younger at Kasberger Field, 415 North 5th St., Newark.

Dignitaries will promote the availability of free lunches for Newark youth at hundreds of sites across the city during the summer months, including schools, parks, libraries and swimming pools. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, only 1 in 10 children who are eligible for free summer meals actually receive meals — leaving 19 million children unserved. When school is out, families can spend as much as an additional $300 a month to feed children.  Getting the word out and ensuring that those in need are made aware of the availability of Free Summer Meals is vitally important to the health of children and helps families stretch their food budget.

After the press conference, the dignitaries will serve attending youth a nutritious lunch and they will enjoy a batting practice session with former New York Yankee slugger Cecil Fielder and a visit with a calf to learn about where their milk comes from.

Born in 1963 in Los Angeles, Fielder played for the Toronto Blue Jays, the Hanshin Tigers in Japan, the Detroit Tigers, the Yankees, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Cleveland Indians. He led the American League in home runs in 1990 and 1991, and runs batted in from 1990 to 1992, was a three-time All-Star, and his acquisition by the Yankees in 1996 was considered vital to their winning their first World Championship in 18 years. He finished his Major League Baseball career with 319 home runs and 1,008 RBI’s. His son, Prince Fielder, has starred as a first baseman for the Milwaukee Brewers and Detroit Tigers, and is now with the Texas Rangers. Fielder was known as “Big Daddy” for his big smile, peaceful temperament and prodigious home runs, as well as his massive physical stature.

In December 2007, Fielder and partner Kundy Gutierrez started a youth baseball organization called The Baseball Legends — TBL Tournaments. TBL Tournaments has grown throughout the United States as one of the premiere youth baseball tournament organizations. TBL Tournaments is known for their summer national event called Cecil Fielder Elite World Series.