Tough choices. Food insecure people across New Jersey make them every day.
One decision they regularly face is what quality of food to purchase. Processed foods tend to be more affordable and filling, but they lack the nutritional value of other foods, like fruits and vegetables. In fact, 75 percent of the people we serve told us they often choose inexpensive, unhealthy food as a way to cope.
The Community FoodBank of New Jersey aims to fill the nutrition gap with healthy food, distributing more than 10.7 million pounds of produce among our over 1,000 partner charities in the last year alone.
We’re able to distribute millions of pounds of fruits and vegetables thanks to government and private donations, FoodBank purchases and our gleaning partners. We glean from retailers and local farms, who send surplus and imperfect-looking produce, reducing waste and feeding more people in need.
The FoodBank receives shipments from retail partners, including Wakefern and Amazon; produce from Grow-a-Row and other local farms; and financial support from donors, like CME Group Community Foundation. Our warehouse always has pallets full of seasonal produce, which our partner agencies point out as they pick up food for the people they help us reach across New Jersey.
“Good nutrition is essential,” said Terrence from AIDS Resource Foundation for Children in Newark. He knows that whenever he comes to the FoodBank, he’s sure to find fresh and healthy options for the people he feeds.
Jessica from Faith Fellowship Ministries in Sayreville echoes his thoughts about providing healthy food to people who might otherwise eat something inexpensive and with little or no nutritional value. “They love it,” she told us about the people she serves.
Those in need at pantries, soup kitchens and shelters appreciate the nutritious options they might otherwise struggle to afford. We know how important healthy food is and how food insecurity impedes on one’s access to quality meal choices. We work every day — with help from our partners and generous donors — to serve healthy food for our neighbors to lead healthy lives.