Food Insecurity Awareness: Feeding America.org · New Jersey Food Pantry Directory
New Jersey Food Banks: Norwescap · Mercer Street Friends · Community Food Banks · Fulfill · Food Bank of South Jersey
Source: South Jersey Food Bank
More than 725,000 New Jerseyans, including 175,000 children, are food insecure, lacking consistent access to nutritious foods and other basic necessities for growing up healthy.
New Jersey’s five food banks – the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Food Bank of South Jersey, Fulfill, Mercer Street Friends, and Norwescap – along with their partners, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and Feeding America, have collaborated for the Growing Healthy Pantries initiative, aimed at achieving food security, promoting healthy food choices, and improving the overall health for New Jersey children and families by establishing the first statewide healthy choice pantry model.
The first phase of this 18-month pilot initiative is almost complete and focused on the development of a toolkit to provide local pantries with the knowledge, resources and framework to develop nutrition policy, increase healthy food options and provide essential wrap-around services that address the factors that lead to individuals and families experiencing food insecurity.
Phase Two, will begin with a roll-out of the toolkit to a select group of pilot pantries with the goal of eventually making the toolkit available to almost 1,000 pantries in the statewide network. The food banks are seeking new funders that can help resource the implementation of the Growing Healthy Pantries in all 21 counties.
The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on historically underserved and under-resourced communities that also experience higher rates of nutrition-related diseases, such as diabetes. Through “Growing Healthy Pantries” the organizations are joining forces to make an unprecedented commitment to promote greater health equity for all New Jerseyans.