New Jersey’s spike in hunger leads to recommendations for reform

One of our key learnings as host of the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund (NJPRF) has been the fragile nature of New Jersey’s emergency food system.

Thanks to our friends and partners at the Tepper Foundation and the hard work of NJPRF’s Critical Needs Outreach team, we are pleased to share insights and recommendations for how best to strengthen the emergency food system at this critical time.

Food Insecurity Spiked, Remains High

While the COVID pandemic saw a 56 percent increase in food insecurity across New Jersey, today’s sky-high inflation has extended the problem and too many New Jersey families are struggling to put food on the table.

More than 650,000 in New Jersey face hunger every day. Approximately 175,000 of them are children.


NJ’s Emergency Food System Needs Strengthening

Every day, New Jersey’s food pantries are responding to this crushing need with heroism – going to incredible lengths to secure the food and resources their neighbors need.

Our experience with NJPRF, as analyzed by the Tepper Foundation, offers several recommendations for strengthening this system. As you scan this list, consider areas where you might like to get involved.

Whether you’re interested in supporting infrastructure improvements in food pantries, innovation in food distribution, or direct funds for the purchase of food for New Jerseyans in need, our team is here to help.  

  1. Technical assistance to volunteer-run food pantries
  2. Greater emphasis on volunteer recruitment at local food pantries
  3. Potential partnerships between New Jersey college and high school student groups and food pantries
  4. Replacing obsolete equipment and building out a pantry infrastructure
  5. Innovations and best practices in outdoor distribution and home delivery
  6. Meeting the needs of motel-based and homeless clients
  7. More equitable and sustainable delivery to food pantries
  8. A scalable and consistent discounted supply of non-food necessities

Support a Local Food Pantry