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Food banks face a variety of challenges in their regular operations and on the policy level. Learn about how you can support the Food Bank of South Jersey.

Feeding America Responds To Failure Of Farm Bill To Pass House

“The House of Representatives failed to approve its farm bill legislation by a vote of 195 to 234, marking a significant victory for the millions of American who live at risk of hunger.
“Members of Congress heard from their constituents loud and clear that the proposed cuts of $21 billion to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program were unacceptable.

Read more about Feeding America's position on the Farm Bill

Increased Demand, Warehouse Deficit

The Food Bank of South Jersey has recently seen an 70% increase in need among hungry households in South Jersey. A similar increase has been experienced across the nation, according to Feeding America's Map the Meal Gapstudy.

As a result of this increased need and a shortfall in funds, the Food Bank of South Jersey warehouse is facing a deficit of food. In response, FBSJ has called on its network of pantries & shelters and the community to encourage Governor Chris Christie to send funds where they are seriously needed—to feed hungry people in South Jersey.

What You Can Do:

  • Sign & send an open letter to Governor Chris Christie
  • Use social media to spread awareness about the issue

Budget Cuts to TEFAP and Other Programs

On August 2, 2011 to address the budget deficit, Congress signed the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) into law, cutting at least $2.1 trillion from the budget. All programs are on the table for cuts, including nutrition programs. The Food Bank of South Jersey has already seen a decrease in funding from The Emergency Food Assistance Program. Instead of $0.10 per pound of federal food distributed through this program, food banks now receive only $0.04 per pound.

Among the requirements of the BCA is the mandate that the newly created Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction develop a proposal for reducing the deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years. This proposal is due to be completed in November and passed by December 23, 2012. Everything is at risk particularly in this stage of the law: The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP); Commodity SupplementFood Program (CSFP); Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP aka food stamps); WomenInfant& Children program (WIC); and child nutrition programs includingschool meals.

What You Can Do:

  • Use social media to spread awareness about the issue
  • Learn about the history of social welfare programs & their effectiveness, then write about their importance
  • Call your Congressmen & insist they protect these urgent programs
  • Check out the FBSJ Events page for campaigns & events you can participate in to provide more meals

Child Hunger

Food insecure children are those children living in households struggling to put food on the table. Food insecure households are not necessarily food insecure all thetime. Food insecurity may reflect the need to make trade offs between important basic needs like housing, medicine, heat, etc., and nutritionally adequate food.

Hunger impacts children from the moment they are conceived. Babies who are born undernourished are often too small. Hunger leads to poor immune systems and sicker children. It impairs physical and developmental growth. Hungry children need more sleep, have less energy, and may never catch up to their well-fed peers when it comes to learning.

In the four-county area of Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Salem alone, 18.1% of our children face food insecurity. Unfortunately, 44% of those 57.000+ children likely do not qualify for assistance from federal nutrition programs.

Further Resources:

What You Can Do:

  • Learn & talk about the developmental impact of hunger on children
  • Ask your public school system if it provides federally-funded meals
  • Write an editorial to local newspapers during the schoolyear about the importance of meal & fitness programs in schools
  • Make a donation to one of FBSJ's kids programs—Kids Cafe, KidzPack, School Pantry, & Cooking Matters

Map the Meal Gap

The Map the Meal Gap study was initiated by Feeding America to provide food banks with information about the people they support at the local community level.

Typically the number of people falling below the federal poverty threshold has been used to identify the need for food on a local level. However, national food insecurity data reveal that about 45% of those struggling with hunger actually have incomes above the federal poverty level and 53% of poor households are food secure. Thus, measuring need based on local poverty rates alone provides an incomplete illustration of the potential need for food assistance within our communities.

In New Jersey, Map the Meal Gap shows that 13.1% of people living in the counties assisted by the Food Bank of South Jersey—Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Salem—face food insecurity. That means we have over 173,000 hungry people in south Jersey, where the average meal is calculated to cost $2.68.

Read the Executive Summary of the report and view the map here.