July 23, 2018
At the Community Foundation of New Jersey, we love connecting our fundholders to philanthropic interventions that work. That they are typically also unique, innovative, low-cost, and inspiring only makes the philanthropic investment more meaningful.
Recently, our Leadership Committee identified an opportunity for fundholders and other charity-minded New Jerseyans to increase access to healthy foods in those urban areas where it is woefully lacking. These areas are often called “food deserts” and they are home to some of our state’s worst health indicators.
A tested approach to improving nutrition
The Community Foundation has taken a leadership role in this effort by partnering with the national nonprofit Fair Food Network to bring its Double Up Food Bucks healthy food incentive program to New Jersey. In 25 other states already, Double Up Food Bucks matches the value of NJ SNAP dollars spent on fresh fruits and vegetables, helping low-income families bring home more nutritious foods. SNAP stands for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps.
With funding from the Community Foundation, Victoria Foundation, The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, and many individual New Jerseyans, the Double Up Food Bucks program will run from July through September 2018, and again in the Spring of 2019 at these locations:
- ShopRite of Newark: 206 Springfield Ave., Newark, NJ 07103
- ShopRite of East Orange: 533 Martin Luther King Blvd., East Orange, NJ 07019
- ShopRite of Kearny: 100 Passaic Ave., Kearny, NJ 07032
- ShopRite of Hillside: 370 Route 22, West Hillside, NJ 07205
Learn more about Double Up including the positive impact it is generating for families and American farmers at www.fairfoodnetwork.org/doubleupfoodbucks.
As Oran Hesterman, founder and CEO of the Fair Food Network explains, “Double Up is a win/win/win: Low-income families bring home more healthy food, local farmers sell more produce, and more food dollars stay in the local economy. Each has a positive ripple effect of benefits.”
We’re proud to be part of this coalition – which also includes the Community FoodBank of New Jersey and Rutgers New Jersey Medical School – and to start moving the needle on better nutrition and overall health in the communities where it counts the most.
To learn more about this important work in New Jersey, visit DoubleUpNJ.org.
Other opportunities to boost nutrition
The Double Up Food Bucks program is a lot like another initiative the Community Foundation of New Jersey helped launch – the Food for Thought: School Breakfast Campaign. This campaign, led by Advocates for Children of New Jersey, shifted the provision of breakfast in certain schools from before the school bell rings to after, thus increasing participation, making the State eligible for more in federal matching grants, and contributing to better nutrition and higher academic performance (the two are inextricably linked). Learn more here.