12% of NJ Residents Go Hungry

Even in Improving Economy
Every NJ County Sees Hunger

Feeding America released a “Map the Meal Gap” report which finds that Essex County has the highest concentration of “food insecurity” in New Jersey.

“Even as the economy has progressed and gotten better, and people have gone back to work, hunger is still a really prevalent problem.”

Diane Riley, director of advocacy for the Community FoodBank of New Jersey told NJTV News.

Riley told NJ Advance Media that hunger exists in “‘every community…even in the most affluent areas.’”

Key findings include:

  • Overall, over 1 million New Jersey residents or almost 12% of the population are “food insecure,”
  • In New Jersey, about 36 percent of food insecure people do not qualify for federal food assistance based on their incomes, the report found,
  • The rate of child food insecurity in NJ was almost 17%,
  • Almost 19% of Essex County residents are food insecure,
  • In contrast, Hunterdon County has a rate of just over 6%

“The people coming to pantries are actually saying more and more that they’re choosing between other things and food. So they’re choosing to pay the rent, to go to the doctor, get their medicine, to pay the utility bills, transportation, especially in New Jersey, you kinda need a car to get around and to get to that job.”

Riley said.

The Community FoodBank is a sponsor of the July 13, 2016 Congressional Reception in Washington, DC and will be helping to carry the message “Stop the Cuts” to our U.S. Senators and Representatives.

Across the United States, every county in the country was found to have residents who struggle to pay for food. Overall, about 48 million people in the U.S. are food insecure, the report found.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines “food insecure” as people who lack access to enough food to live health lives.

NJ Advance Media’s Coverage

NJTV Coverage

Feeding America Report

Map the Meal Gap

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