Food insecurity is a significant social determinant of health that affects far too many people in New Jersey.
Produced with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, FRAC’s report, Hunger and its Solutions in New Jersey: Landscape Analysis of Current Initiatives, Recommended Action, and Emerging Opportunities for Further Investment, analyzes food insecurity in New Jersey, and details actionable recommendations that will help stakeholders across the state to mitigate hunger.
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, 285,000 households (1 in 12) in New Jersey did not have reliable access to affordable, nutritious food.
The pandemic has exacerbated longstanding inequities in food insecurity in New Jersey. Analysis of the Census Household Pulse Survey shows that in 2021, 14 percent of Black households and 18 percent of Latino households in New Jersey experienced food insufficiency, compared to 5 percent of white households.
During COVID-19, diverse community organizations pivoted to diligently address food insecurity, and state agencies worked to implement effective federal flexibilities that helped mitigate the issue.
Despite the seeming ubiquity and severity of food insecurity, there are many actionable solutions to address this issue effectively and equitably, and implementing these solutions has meaningful impacts on population health, the economy, and community resiliency.
Enhance cross-sector coordination and expand community outreach using client-centered communication channels
Maximize equitable food purchasing power and procurement systems and support community development
Build infrastructure and capacity necessary to leverage current and emerging policy and program opportunities
Our stakeholder engagement, data analysis, and policy evaluations bolstered the known reality that food insecurity is a pervasive and multidimensional issue in New Jersey that requires creative solutions across sectors and across levels of influence.
To learn more about actionable recommendations to mitigate hunger, read the report.
Learn more about the vital role of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and other federal nutrition programs in this supplemental brief to Hunger and Its Solutions in New Jersey.