Hunger in New Jersey
- Although the fourth wealthiest state in the nation, there are numerous areas of Northeast New Jersey where the poverty level far surpasses that of the national average.
- One-third of New Jersey’s residents do not earn enough to afford the basic necessities of food and housing.
- One-third of the state’s employed residents live below the poverty level.
- One-in-five children in New Jersey lives in poverty.
- There are over 1.1 million food insecure people living in New Jersey. More than 1/3 of them are children.
- More than half of the children living in poverty in New Jersey reside in one of the four counties served by Table to Table.
- Children suffering from poor nutrition during the brain’s most formative years score much lower on tests of vocabulary, reading comprehension, arithmetic, and general knowledge.
How Table to Table Helps Combat Hunger
- Hunger and food insecurity are significant problems facing our country and communities, but Table to Table’s ability to solve the problem is significant as well.
- Over 100 billion pounds of food (or 40% of the food available for human consumption in the United States) is literally thrown out each year.
- Every day Table to Table redistributes good, wholesome food that would otherwise be wasted.
- There is no cost to either the food donors or the recipient agencies we serve.
- In 2016, from four local counties alone, Table to Table rescued enough food for more than 17 million meals.
- Table to Table’s goal for 2017 is to redistribute enough food within Northeast New Jersey to provide 18 million meals for our hungry neighbors.
- Newark is New Jersey’s largest city.
- In 2012, Newark was home to more than 73,000 children (26% of Newark’s total population).
- In high-cost New Jersey, a more accurate measure of the number of struggling families is those earning twice the federal poverty level, or $46,100 for a family of four. By this measure, a startling 71% of all Newark children were living in a low-income family in 2012, compared to 32% statewide.
- More than half of the children receiving food stamps in Essex County were Newark children.
- In 2013, 41,000 school-age Newark children were eligible for free or reduced-price school meals, an almost 15% increase over the past four years.
- More than 25% of senior adults live in households with incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level.
- Reducing senior citizens’ risk of food insecurity or hunger benefits their health, nutrition, and general well-being and helps them remain independent.
- 5.4 million Americans over the age of 60 were food insecure in 2013. Those 5.4 million represent 9% of all seniors in the US.
- At the current rate the number of senior citizens with food insecurity is projected to increase 50% by 2025.
- Nearly 14% of households in New Jersey are food insecure and will struggle to find enough food this week. This equates to almost 1 in 8 households – many with children.
- Thirty percent of the children in New Jersey live in single parent families.
- The number of New Jersey families who are food insecure has more than doubled in the past ten years.
- Although New Jersey schools provide free or reduced-price school lunch to 81% of eligible children, school districts largely failed to provide these same eligible children with a healthy start to their day.
- 18.5% of NJ’s children are food insecure.
- 1 out of every 5 New Jersey families doesn’t earn enough money to cover basic needs like food, housing and child care even though there is at least one working member of the family in 85% of these families.
- The number of households in New Jersey experiencing food hardship increased from an average of 11.5 percent in 2009 to 13% in 2012.
- 48.8 million Americans live in households lacking the money to get enough nutritious food on a regular basis. Therefore, at some point during each year, these families struggle with hunger.
Advocates for Children of New Jersey
Newark Kids Count Report 2012 – 2013
New Jersey Kids Count 2012
Food Research and Action Center (FRAC)
The Post Standard Editorial Board – Hunger in America: Recession, Unemployment Bring a Rising Tide of
US Bureau of the Census
Poverty Research Institute, 2011
Meals on Wheels, Senior Hunger in the United States
Rutgers Against Hunger 2014
Share Our Strength, Washington DC