Food insecurity is a family’s inability to deliver enough food to live a nourishing lifestyle. 1 in 8 people in the United States battle with hunger and the ability to provide nutritious foods at the dinner table. Thousands in Southern New Jersey rely on the JFCS Betsy and Peter Fischer Food Pantries each year to do just that.
Six out of seven low-income children who eat a free or reduced-price school lunch during the academic year do not get that free meal during the summer. The absence of a meal in the middle of the day can be more detrimental to a growing child than one might believe. Children who lack proper eating habits often have low blood sugar, have trouble focusing, and do not have nutrients that children require to retain good health. With help from the good Samaritans of Southern New Jersey, JFCS can help make sure that no child has to go hungry this summer.
Summer food insecurity facts are quite staggering. Here are just some that resonate*:
- New Jersey ranks 12th in the nation in the percentage of eligible children who received a free lunch last summer, according to a report released Tuesday.
- 57,000 children in Southern New Jersey are food-insecure.
- Families no longer visit “emergency food” sources for temporary relief; they rely on food pantries as a supplemental food source
- 53% of households report having to choose between food and paying for medicine in the past 12 months; 29% face this choice every month
- 68% of households report having to choose between paying for food and paying for utilities in the past 12 months; 24% face this choice every month.
- One out of every 3 people who are hungry in New Jersey is a child.
- About 1 of every 5 children in New Jersey is hungry.
Food insecurity can happen so quickly, due to unexpected events or accidents. Many families find it is an ongoing battle to choose between paying bills and buying healthy food. Most of the time the family has to choose to pay bills. In addition to regular pantry items, JFCS is asking farmers and gardeners to share their surplus with our clients during these summer months, via the JFCS Gardens For Good produce donation program. The importance of fruits and vegetables is essential, as they contain vital vitamins, minerals and contain fiber.
JFCS wants your help to make a difference for these families by donating items to our pantry.
Pantry Items Most Needed
Snacks (pretzels, granola bars, crackers)
For more information on our needs for our food pantry, please contact Andi Loew firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Map the Meal Feeding America Study, 2014