Hunger haunts every corner of New Jersey. That’s why a statewide response is the only way to solve hunger. The New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition leads that effort, educating the public and decision-makers about hunger --- its causes, its solutions. We mobilize diverse organizations to combat hunger. We push for sweeping changes to ensure that every single New Jersey resident has healthy food to eat -- every single day.
Together, we are working to ensure that:
No child goes hungry.
All people can get help during difficult times.
Food banks are supported to help those in need.
Federal hunger relief programs are supported to provide a lifeline to tens of thousands of people each day.
NJAHC advocates for responsible policies and improvements to programs that help those in need, including:
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly Food Stamps
Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program
New Jersey has a strong, dedicated network of food banks, pantries and other emergency food providers who feed thousands of people each day. But no matter how hard they work, it is never enough to meet the pervasive need.
Only through an organized, comprehensive response can we ensure that all New Jersey residents have good, healthy food every day. While an array of federal nutrition programs exists, most fail to reach thousands of children, elderly and others who could benefit. The reasons are varied and complex.
The New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition takes a comprehensive approach to addressing those issues by:
Co-leading the NJ Food for Thought Campaign to end childhood hunger
Building local coalitions to stop hunger in their own backyards
Advocating with state and federal lawmakers to promote responsible public policies that improve food quality and access for thousands of people
Working with local and state officials to remove barriers to food access
Educating and engaging the public through media outreach
Supporting food pantries, soup kitchens and other emergency food providers with technical assistance
Tens of thousands more at-risk students receiving a healthy breakfast at school
More people receiving NJ SNAP (formerly known as food stamps)
Expanding efforts to address the lack of healthy foods in our communities
Fighting cuts to nutrition assistance for children, the elderly and others
Securing more dollars for emergency food
Here’s a snapshot at some of our successful efforts…
As emergency food providers struggle to meet demand, NJAHC advocated for New Jersey to dedicate state funds to provide emergency food. As a result, in 2004 New Jersey created the State Food Purchase Program (SFPP). Each year, this fund provides millions of dollars to purchase emergency food to help our hungry neighbors.
NJAHC’s advocacy efforts led to an expansion of SNAP benefits to people earning up to 185 percent of the federal poverty level ($44,863 for a family of four), up from 130 percent of poverty. The state also eliminated the “asset test” when calculating food stamp eligibility and benefits. That means a person’s savings or other assets cannot disqualify them from receiving help. This policy change made approximately 35,000 more struggling seniors, families and people with disabilities able to get needed benefits.
NJAHC's advocacy also resulted in the waiver of face-to-face interviews for food stamp applications. Now, New Jersey residents in need of assistance can apply online and have the interview over the phone. These changes all make it easier for people in need to receive healthy food.
NJAHC co-leads the New Jersey Food for Thought Campaign, which has resulted in a 75 percent increase in the number of students receiving breakfast through the federal School Breakfast Program. New Jersey has moved from nearly last in the nation for its low participation to 23rd.
Our advocacy also resulted in an unprecedented joint directive from New Jersey’s Education Commissioner and Agriculture Secretary to all NJ school districts in 2012, making it clear that breakfast can be counted as "instructional time," removing a major barrier to participation in the program.
NJAHC organizes coalitions in cities across the state to make school breakfast and summer meals available to more children.