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Below are local, county, and state resources that work toward addressing community food insecurity in New Brunswick. They are categorized by their primary focus: access, advocacy, education, community economic development, and research. Click on a tab for a list of organizations.

Food access is shaped by location, purchasing ability, the availability of culturally appropriate food, and knowledge of one’s community and its resources. New Brunswick has two supermarkets and many corner stores, but not all New Brunswick residents have transportation, money, or time, among other challenges, to access fresh food. The following organizations have initiatives towards addressing inequitable access to fresh, healthy, and culturally appropriate foods.

Anshe Emeth Community Development Corporation (AECDC) collaborates with service providers and other agencies. AECDC Food Funnel collects donated food for Elijah’s Promise Soup Kitchen and food pantries in Middlesex County and Franklin Township (Anshe Emeth Community Development Corporation).

Address: 222 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Norka Torres; 732-296-9922
Learn more: http://www.aecdc.org/our-services/aecdc-food-funnel

The Christ Church Episcopal Food Pantry serves anyone in need.

Address: 5 Paterson Street, New Brunswick NJ 08901

The Community Organization Specialist is a new position in the New Brunswick City government to increase collaboration between the city government and local organizations. Keith Jones, the New Brunswick Community Food Alliance chair, holds the position. Mr. Jones defines food security as having access to enough, adequate, appropriate cultural foods and aims with his position to minimize cultural and generational barriers to food security and health (Interview, 2014).

The Community Food Bank of New Jersey in Hillside is a non-profit food bank that fights hunger and poverty by increasing food access, providing nutrition and food-based education and job training, and supplying children with clothing and school supplies. Each year, the food bank provides 40 million pounds of food to more than 1,000 food pantries and food distributors in eight NJ counties.

Address: 31 Evans Terminal Road, Hillside, NJ 07205
Contact: Donald Farrell; 908-355-3663, dfarrel@njfoodbank.org
Learn more: http://www.cfbnj.org/

Ebenezer Baptist Church’s food pantry serves anyone in need.

Address: 126 Lee Street, New Brunswick NJ 08901

Better World Cafe is a community kitchen that envisions a world in which all eat healthy sustainable food. The cafe, located in Highland Park, allows consumers to “pay what you can”. Those who can afford to pay a little more for their meal subsidize those who choose the daily complimentary meal. Volunteers, staff, and Promise Culinary School graduates locally procure produce when possible, create tasty and nutritious seasonal menus, and compost food scraps. Proceeds are cycled back to Elijah’s Promise to provide food and resources to those in need.

Better World Market is a local food market that provides job training and job opportunities, connects farmers with consumers, and directs profits to Elijah’s Promise’s Community Soup Kitchen. A partnership with Suydam farms, Better World Market works with the NJ Farmers Bureau to source and sell local produce. Better World Market’s offerings include local produce, baked goods from the Better World Bakery, and products from small NJ businesses. The Community Soup Kitchen and Promise Culinary School use unsold produce in their programs minimizing waste, providing healthy food to at-risk people, and creating new opportunities. New Jersey Monthly has lauded the market for having the largest selection of Jersey-made food products they’ve seen under one roof (New Jersey Monthly, 2014).

Elijah’s Promise’s Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) program brings fresh farm food into the city and supports its other programs. A diverse group of members support the CSA ensuring that Elijah’s Promise can purchase shares for people who are homeless, those with HIV/AIDS and for use in the Community Soup Kitchen. The CSA pricing is stratified by income level and provides healthy food access to anyone regardless of income.

Elijah’s Promise’s Community Soup Kitchen serves more than 300 meals a day and 100,000 a year. Volunteers and Promise Culinary School graduates cook nutritious meals using fresh ingredients. Chef Pam Johnson, a graduate of Promise Culinary School, runs the Community Kitchen and goes the extra mile for others. She epitomizes the lasting impact their programs have on the lives of those who use them.

Because Community Soup Kitchen guests often need supportive services, a social services team provides information and referrals for housing assistance and medical services including mental health and addiction counseling. An on-site service program provides health and vision screenings, flu shots, and HIV/AIDS prevention and testing. Staff and peer workers help homeless people find housing and provide entry into treatment for substance abuse and mental illness. And their Homeless Empowerment Action Response Team (HEART) delivers food, blankets, hygiene products and service referrals to homeless people in Middlesex County. The Community Kitchen is also a refuge for the homeless during harsh winter nights through a “code blue” program which goes into effect when temperatures dip below freezing or it is snowing. The Community Kitchen was in Code Blue status last winter 25 times as a warming center for guests who stayed from 7pm to 7am.

Promise Culinary School teaches the skills necessary for entry-level employment in the foodservice industry. The intensive 6 month, state certified job training program has trained over 650 individuals since its inception in 1997. Most trainees have been people with low incomes and people who have disabilities, are homeless, or unemployed. Students receive instruction in math, communication, life and job readiness skills and complete an externship at a local food service establishment to receive hands-on job training, which helps with the transition from school to work. The program’s graduation rate is approximately 85% and, of those who graduate, 95% are placed in jobs. Partial or full financial assistance is provided to many students and ensures opportunities for individuals of all backgrounds. Many program graduates work within Elijah’s Promise’s network at Promise Catering, Better World Bakery, and Better World Market. Promise Culinary School runs a Community Supported Bread program and sells products at a variety of locations to help fund the job training programs.

Shiloh Community Garden has provided New Brunswick residents with the space and educational resources to grow food since 2010. The program shares the best cost-effective practices for growing in home gardens and increases access to fresh food for low-income residents. For $15, residents lease a raised garden bed for a growing season. Group work days and specialized workshops assist amateur gardeners to ensure their success. Elijah’s Promise staff co-manage the Community Garden Coalition, a working group of the New Brunswick Community Food Alliance, which leads the city’s urban agriculture and community gardening activities. A partnership between Elijah’s Promise and the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences led to the creation of a 35 tree apple orchard at the garden in 2013 (Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences AES Newsroom, 2013).

The Emanuel Lutheran pantry serves those in need who may access food once a month.

Address: 151 New Street, New Brunswick NJ 08901
More Info: http://www.emanuelnb.org/outreach-mission/our-food-pantry

Farmers Against Hunger is a volunteer produce gleaning organization that ensures that food insecure individuals in NJ have access to fresh produce. The New Jersey Agricultural Society established it in 1996. Volunteers pick surplus produce from farms, Farmers Against Hunger delivers the food to four distribution sites in New Jersey, and local food distributors bring it to food banks and soup kitchens (Interview, 2014).

Address: 1200 Florence Columbus Road, Bordentown, NJ 08505
Contact: Kristina Guttadora, Executive Director; 609-462-9691, farmersagainsthunger@gmail.com
Learn More: http://www.njagsociety.org/farmers-against-hunger.html

Feeding New Brunswick Network is a coalition of emergency food providers and community food pantries. The coalition meets monthly to discuss issues facing food pantries in New Brunswick. The coalition includes ten food pantries in New Brunswick.

Contact: nb_pantry_wm@yahoo.com

The Second Reform Church’s Five Loaves Food Pantry provides free food for community members based on points system determined by family size and income.

Address: 5 Paterson Street, New Brunswick NJ, 08901
More Info: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Five-Loaves-Food-Pantry/177753575640190

Food for Thought is a volunteer organization that collects food donations from local restaurants and cooks and serves meals every two weeks on Saturday mornings. It integrates Rutgers students, local businesses, and New Brunswick residents. A small group of Rutgers students created Food for Thought in July of 2014. Food for Thought hopes to create dialogue between its volunteers and those it serves (Interview, 2014).

Contact: Shireen Hamza, Organizer; shireen5221@gmail.com
Learn More: Facebook group: “Food for Thought, New Brunswick”

The school free and reduced price lunch program provides resources to school districts to serve lower income children, while allowing schoolchildren to benefit from national and statewide nutritional standards to reduce childhood obesity and encourage positive health outcomes. Among the 7,894 children enrolled in New Brunswick public schools in the 2012-3 academic year, 7,329 (93%) qualified for free or reduced priced lunches (New Jersey Department of Education). Eligibility requirements are determined by household income, adjusted for the size of the household. The maximum annual household income for eligibility begins at $21,590 and increases by $7,511 with each additional member of the household. For example, a family of four making $44,123 annually or less is eligible for their children to receive free or reduced breakfast and lunch. Parents or guardians must apply for the program on behalf of their children at their school (New Jersey Department of Agriculture). All schools, including private, nonprofit and charter schools, are eligible for participation. Schools must follow the nutritional guidelines outlined by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture that mandate minimums for fruits, vegetables, lowfat milk, and whole grains, and set limits on foods high in fat or sugar.

Learn More: http://www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/fn/fooddistrib/

MCFOODS, a county food bank established in 1994, distributes food to 80 community food organizations such as food pantries and soup kitchens to ensure that Middlesex County residents in need can access healthy free food. MCFOODS established a network of local food distributors that meets monthly and shares produce, resources, and volunteers. Its food comes from community food drives, the State Food Purchase Program (SFPP) and Commodities program, monetary donations, and corporate and other donations (MCFOODS; Interview, 2014).

Address: 101 Interchange Plaza, Suite 202, Cranbury, NJ 08512
Contact: Jennifer Apostol, Coordinator; 609-655-4748, ja@mciauth.com
Learn More: http://www.mciauth.com/mcfoods.htm

Meals on Wheels of Greater New Brunswick is a non-profit organization that provides home- delivered food to aging adults in New Brunswick and Highland Park. The organization helps aging adults maintain their independence, even if they cannot cook or shop for themselves. Meals on Wheels volunteers deliver more than 30,000 meals annually. Elijah’s Promise’s Promise Catering service cooks all meals.

Address: 211 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Shareka Fitz, Program Director; 732-249-3488, MOWgnb@aol.com
Learn More: http://mowgnb.org/

The Middlesex County Office of Aging and Disabled Services operates programs to improve food security.

  • Farmers Market offers vouchers to those eligible to purchase fresh produce from June to November.
  • Global Options (GO) Program offers long-term care services to those meeting the requirements. Eligible clients receive meals, medical supplies, and other services. Clients must be 65 or older or people with disabilities, ages 21-64.
  • Jersey Assistance for Community Caregiving (JACC) in-home services supports individuals who age at home with home delivered meals, adult day health, and environmental accessibility modifications, among other services.
  • Senior Meals Program delivers food to seven locations in Middlesex County and delivers one meal per day, five days per week. Weekday and weekend home delivered meal programs are available for homebound seniors.
  • Seniors with health conditions are eligible for Ensure Plus through the “Ensure Seniors Are Nourished” program.
  • Congregate meal sites offer Nutrition Education & Health Awareness lectures at eight locations listed on the county website.

Address: 75 Bayard Street – 5th floor, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Laila Caune, Director; 732-745-3295, answersonaging@co.middlesex.nj.us
Learn More: http://co.middlesex.nj.us/aging/ and http://www.co.middlesex.nj.us/Government/Departments/CS/Pages/Aging %20and%20Disabled%20Services/Nutrition-Services.aspx

The Advocacy and Policy Work Group advocates for policies to improve access to healthy and affordable food for everyone (New Brunswick Community Food Alliance’s website). It addresses NBCFA’s research needs and pays attention to studies and policies that could affect New Brunswick’s community food security. The work group hosts potlucks and panels to raise awareness about food insecurity and facilitate discussion.They collaborated with the Healthy Food Access work group on the Breakfast After the Bell program. Current discussions include improving the Breakfast After the Bell program, conducting research on new programs and initiatives such as beekeeping and exploring labor and social justice in restaurants and cultural institutions (Interview, 2014).

The Agriculture Work Group promotes sustainable agriculture, energy-efficient practices and community gardening (New Brunswick Community Food Alliance’s website). Agenda items for 2015 include participation in a January Food Forum, establishing community gardens in the New Brunswick public school system, working on an urban pollinator ordinance and collaborating with Elijah’s Promise’s Culinary School to create a community-maintained compost zone. The Agriculture working group works closely with the Community Garden Coalition (CGC).

The Community Engagement Work Group engages residents to improve community food security and addresses social, racial, ethnic, and economic barriers in doing so (New Brunswick Community Food Alliance’s website). Initially work group volunteers raised food security awareness in a variety of ways including by handing out flyers on the streets. Today, the work group hosts community events, such as demonstrations on how to: cook on a budget, use healthier recipes and understand food portions. Other activities include a seasonal Harvesting Healthy Recipes event and supermarket tours to teach residents about nutritional labels, products and sales. Future projects include a partnership with local supermarkets to host in- store tables and panels that explain products and a restaurant partnership to include nutritional information on menus (Interview, 2014).

The Community Gardening Coalition (CGC) Is an extension of the Agriculture work group that has established and promoted a community garden network in New Brunswick. The CGC predates the NBCFA as a seed swap group and now oversees 11 community gardens and about 180 garden beds that approximately 140-150 residents maintain. It costs approximately $15 per year to rent a bed and the money is used for garden maintenance. Gardeners grow produce for personal consumption. Coordinator(s), who try to be inclusive towards the food insecure members of the community, organize the gardens. The Cook Organic Club is unique because it is run by people affiliated with Rutgers and is one large plot. Future CGC projects include designing and implementing the Shiloh Orchard, organizing gleaning days and developing partnerships with food pantries and soup kitchens. The CGC has been collaborating with the New Brunswick City Council since March 2014 to be recognized as a conservancy to increase its capacity (Interview, 2014; D’Auria, 2012).

The New Brunswick Community Garden Coalition includes eleven gardens:

  • The Community Garden at Christ Church, 5 Paterson Street
  • Cook Organic Garden Club (on Cook/Douglass Campus), College Farm Road
  • Feaster Park Community Garden, 126 Throop Ave ( Unity Square)
  • Greater New Brunswick Charter School community garden, 429 Joyce Kilmer
  • Jardin de Esperanza (“Garden of Hope”), 178 Jones Ave (New Brunswick Farm Market). • Jim Landers Community Garden, 220 Suydam Street (Unity Square)
  • Johnson & Johnson’s Garden, (Johnson & Johnson), primarily for employees.
  • New Brunswick High School community garden
  • Pope Francis Community Garden, 200 George Street (Sacred Heart Church)
  • Shiloh Community Garden, 1 Oliver Street (Elijah’s Promise)
  • St. Isabella Isadore Community Garden, 56 Throop Ave (Sacred Heart Church)

The Pope Francis Garden is planned to close in 2015, but three new gardens are in various stages of planning. A garden at Recreation Park, at 411 Joyce Kilmer, is planned for 2015. Two others, one at Buccleuch Park at 321 Easton Avenue and Archibald Park at 15 Van Dyke Avenue, are in early planning (Interview, 2014).

The Food Economic Development Work Group promotes job creation, job skills development and fosters local ownership and business development (New Brunswick Community Food Alliance’s website). One initiative is a project to establish a food business and kitchen incubator to help grow small food businesses. The work group surveyed community members to better understand their small food business interests and needs, identified commercial kitchen space in and around New Brunswick, and recognized that implementing a small business food incubator means negotiating many challenges including liability, insurance and funding. In another project, the work group collaborated with the Healthy Food Access work group on the Healthy Corner Store Initiative. Recent discussion items include the logistics of creating a food distribution center for New Brunswick (Interview, 2014).

The Healthy Food Access Work Group encourages schools, businesses and others to provide healthy and affordable food (New Brunswick Community Food Alliance’s website). The work group has played an active role in some of the NBCFA’s biggest projects. Breakfast After the Bell is a collaboration with city government and the New Brunswick public school system to guarantee healthy breakfast for school children. The work group is playing an active role in improving the nutritional quality of the breakfast while promoting the program to parents. The Healthy Corner Store Initiative, a current project, is a partnership with the city to survey small grocery stores to learn about the nutritional quality of their items. Project goals are to partner with store owners to stock and promote healthier food. The work group collaborated with the Feeding New Brunswick Network of food pantries to help food pantries provide healthier, culturally appropriate food. Future projects may include a food co-op, a map for the Healthy Corner Store Initiative, and an after school healthy snacks program for athletes and clubs in the public schools (Interview, 2014).

The New Brunswick Public Schools offer programs to improve community food security. The Universal Breakfast Program provides breakfast for all students every day after the first bell. The Greater Brunswick Charter School created a school garden to teach students about fresh fruits, vegetables, and growing food. 4H New Brunswick and Food Corps provide nutrition classes. The New Brunswick High School also has a community garden and the Environmental club and the culinary class use it (Interview 2014).

Contact: Thalya Reyes, thalya.reyes@foodcorps.org
Learn More: http://www.nbpschools.net/

The NJ Farm to School Network is the state lead for the National Farm to School Network, a national organization that advocates for and forges stronger connections between local agriculture and schools. The organization also advocates for better school food, supports urban agriculture education in school gardens, and run workshops in local schools to teach children about local produce.

Address: 407 Greenwood Avenue, Trenton, NJ 08609
Contact: Beth Feehan, Director; beth@njfarmtoschool.org
Learn More: http://www.njfarmtoschool.org/

The Puerto Rican Action Board (PRAB) is a community development organization that primarily serves low-income, Latino residents. While its name refers to its beginnings as a project of Puerto Rican immigrants, it has continued to serve the city as demographics have changed. PRAB’s Family Success Center partners with Robert Wood Johnson and Rutgers University Snap Education to offer nutrition workshops and Zumba classes. Its Service Access Center houses a small emergency food pantry. PRAB’s Early Childhood Preschools offers breakfast for all students after the first bell (Interview, 2014).

Address: 90 Jersey Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Jacqueline Rivera, Director of Family Services; 732-828-4510, jrivera@prab.org
Learn More: https://www.prab.org/

The New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids is a coalition of statewide organizations that the Robert Wood Johnson Hospital runs. It focuses on decreasing child obesity through initiatives like the Ciclovia and the Universal Breakfast Program.

Learn More: http://www.njhealthykids.org/

RWJ is making New Brunswick more food secure and nutrition more accessible. The Community Health Promotions Department focuses on education, health promotion, and/or early detection outreach to New Brunswick residents. Efforts include the Fun-in-the-park program, Soccer for Success and local tours that promote health education. The Fun-in-the- park program, in collaboration with New Brunswick Tomorrow, promotes safe and accessible public spaces for families and children to reduce obesity. The Soccer for Success program combines soccer and nutrition and is sponsored through a grant from the American Soccer Foundation. Mariam Merced, Director of the Community Health Promotions Department and co-chair of the New Brunswick Community Food Alliance Community Engagement work group, gives tours for academics and doctors to highlights places that offer nontraditional medical remedies (botanicas) and bodegas. RWJ recently opened the New Brunswick Fitness Center, which houses the city’s only public swimming pool. The recreation center offers swim lessons and houses a commercial kitchen, food demonstrations, and a staff nutritionist.

Address: 120 Albany St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: 732-418-8056
Learn More: http://rwjfitnesswellness.com/new-brunswick/

FoodCorps is an AmeriCorps program housed within Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension and the New Jersey Farm to School Network that assigns individuals to address food-related needs in the community. Currently, New Brunswick’s FoodCorps member works at the Jones Avenue Esperanza Community Garden, creates programs for the New Brunswick High School and the Greater Brunswick Charter School community gardens, and teaches a course titled “All about Food” at the Greater Brunswick Charter School (Interview, 2014).

Address: 178 Jones Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Thalya Reyes, FoodCorps Member; thalya.reyes@foodcorps.org
Learn More: https://foodcorps.org/

Johnson & Johnson and Rutgers University Cooperative Extension run the New Brunswick Community Farmers Market (NBCFM), a community farmers market that increases access to fresh healthy food and instills healthy eating habits. Nutrition interns and SNAP-Ed educators provide nutrition lessons and food purchasing tips. People who use federal nutrition assistance such as SNAP, WIC checks, and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers can receive an additional 50% more produce through the Market Bucks program. Those who spend $10 receive an extra $5 in Market Bucks, which extends their food budgets and encourages the purchase of fresh produce. The market also operates a community garden in which volunteers and residents plant produce for the community (NBCFM website; Bradshaw, 2013).

Address: Thursdays (11am – 3pm) and Saturdays (10am – 3pm) at 178 Jones Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901; Wednesdays (11am – 3pm) at 108 Albany Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901; June through November.
Contact: Sarah Dixon, Senior Program Coordinator; 848-932-3706, nbcfarmersmarket@gmail.com
Learn More: http://www.nbcfarmersmarket.com/

The New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health, which will open during the summer of 2015, will be an interdisciplinary space for research about food, nutrition, and health with the objective of stemming the childhood obesity epidemic. The institute’s facilities will include a healthy eating courtyard, a nutrition counseling center, a childhood learning and resource center, and research centers dedicated to studying physical activity, lipid metabolism, food policy and ethics, and student wellness.
Address: 63 Dudley Road, New Brunswick NJ 08901
Contact: Peter Gillies, IFNH Founding Director; 848-932-3500, director@ifnh.rutgers.edu
Learn More: http://ifnh.rutgers.edu/

Rutgers Against Hunger (RAH) and its student-led affiliate, Student-Organized Rutgers Against Hunger (SO RAH), alleviate hunger by collecting monetary and food donations and by providing volunteers. Since 2008, RAH and SO RAH have mobilized staff, faculty and students to collect more than 150,000 pounds of food and to raise more than $200,000 dollars. RAH’s Adopt-A- Family program engages Rutgers departments and staff who provide food and toiletries to New Brunswick families in need since 2009. RAH and SO-RAH engage the university community. For example, Rutgers Hillel worked with RAH in 2012 to donate 65 pounds of food to Your Grandmother’s Cupboard, an organization that fights hunger. SO-RAH’s student volunteers pack meals for Elijah’s Promise, glean produce at Giamarese Farm and hold fundraisers on campus (Rutgers Against Hunger website).

Contact: [RAH] Chris Rezko, Program Manager; 848-932-2458, retzko@oldqueens.rutgers.edu, [SO-RAH] studentorganizedrah@gmail.com
Learn More: [RAH] http://rah.rutgers.edu/, [SO-RAH] http://rah.rutgers.edu/so-rah/

Rutgers Gardens Farmers Market offers locally grown and made food such as poultry, meat, cheese, baked goods, pickles, fruit, and vegetables. The Farmers Market, a partnership of the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS) and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES), promotes recycling, conservation, and sustainable farming. The market is open Fridays 11am–5pm, May 2nd through November 28, 2014.

Address: 112 Ryders Lane, New Brunswick, NJ 08850
Contact Mary Ann Schrum, Manager Programs and Development; rlschrum@aesop.rutgers.edu
Learn More: http://www.rutgersgardens.rutgers.edu/farmmarket.htm

The Rutgers Nutritional Sciences Preschool is the only preschool dedicated to teaching children about nutrition in the country. The program, created in 1991, operates in collaboration with the Rutgers Nutritional Sciences Department and provides developmental and nutrition education to 3 and 4 year-old children and a research environment for Rutgers students and faculty. By providing students with healthy snacks and cooking activities, the Nutritional Sciences Preschool instills healthy eating habits in children (Interview, 2014; Rutgers Nutritional Sciences Preschool website).

Address: Davison Hall, 26 Nichol Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Mrs. Harriet Worobey, Director; 732-932-8895, harrietw@rci.rutgers.edu
Learn More: http://nutrition.rutgers.edu/presch/

The St. Vincent de Paul food pantry serves those who qualify under The Emergency Food Assistance Program guidelines once a week.

Address: 29 Abeel Street, New Brunswick NJ 08901

The Salvation Army provides food, by appointment, once a month and their pantry is open 3 days a week.

Address: 287 Handy Street, New Brunswick NJ 08901
Learn More: http://newjersey.salvationarmy.org/NewJersey/newbrunswick

SouperVan was a healthy, gourmet food truck that bought food locally, offered gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options, provided healthy meals, jobs, and donated money from each meal to the emergency food system. Rutgers students and graduates from Promise Culinary School staffed the SouperVan and it parked in New Brunswick often on the Rutgers campus (Genovese, 2013).

Learn More: http://www.soupervan.org/

SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is a government program previously known as food stamps, that provides food for low-income households. It is the largest food security program in the country (U.S. Department of Agriculture). The 2014 Farm Bill included $100 million in matching funds for “double bucks” programs in farmers markets across the country. “Double bucks” means that SNAP benefits are doubled when used to purchase local produce at participating farmer’s markets. In other words, SNAP recipients can double their benefits when using them to purchase healthy local food (National Public Radio, 2014; Double Up Food Bucks). The $100 million must be matched by private funding, but local food security organizations and farmers’ markets that can find the money can use it to help SNAP recipients afford to eat healthy while supporting local farmers (Charles, 2014).

Learn More: http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/

Suydam Street Reformed Church provides canned and packaged goods, and bread
and pastries are distributed on Sundays. Recipients need identification and can access food once a month.

Address: 74 Drift Street, New Brunswick NJ 08901
Learn More: http://www.suydamstreetreformedchurch.org/

Tabernacle Baptist Church provides emergency food and a cooked meal on the second Monday of each month.

Address: 239 George Street, New Brunswick NJ 08901

Unity Square is a community organization that focuses on labor rights, education, and improving health through locally run organic gardens. Catholic Charities established Unity Square in the early 2000s. Unity Square serves residents of their neighborhood, roughly 40 blocks between Livingston Avenue and Commercial Avenue, between Welton Street and Stanford Street. Its programs engage the community in community gardening as residents own garden plots and harvest their own vegetables. Unty Square also partners with New Labor to combat wage theft, which affects residents’ abilities to buy healthier food and travel to better markets.

Address: 81 Remsen Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Amanda Gallear, Organizer; 732-545-0329
More Info: http://www.ccdom.org/unitysquare

Women Aware is Middlesex County’s top domestic violence agency dedicated to ending domestic violence in the lives of children, women, and men (Women Aware). Women Aware offers a variety of services for domestic violence survivors, including the Safe House which provides food along with other supportive services.

Address: 250 Livingston Avenue New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Phyllis Adams, Executive Director; 732-249-4900
Learn More: http://womenaware.net/

Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) is a federally funded program that provides assistance for women, infants and children. The WIC program for Middlesex and Monmouth County is under Visiting Nurse Association Health Group, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion, restoration and maintenance of the health status of individuals and the community. The aim of the WIC program is to help decrease the risk of poor birth outcomes and to improve the health of infants and children during critical times of growth and development, through the distribution of vouchers for supplemental nutritious foods, coupled with access to nutrition education, and appropriate referrals to other health or social services.

Contact: Payal Arora; Payal.Arora@vnahg.org
Learn More: http://www.state.nj.us/health/fhs/wic/localagencies.shtml

Youth Empowerment Services (YES) is a non-profit organization that helps children become successful, engaged adults through mentoring, tutoring, and social programs. YES’s Oasis summer camp provides breakfast and lunch to its participants, along with opportunities to learn about new foods and healthy eating. During X-Cite Nite, which occurs twice a week, children have nutritious snacks and the opportunity to relax and play in a safe environment. The organization also provides financial literacy classes to parents, where they learn the most cost- effective ways to buy and store food.

Address: 270 George Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Barry Smith, Executive Director & Founder; 732-937-9377, bsmith@youthempowerment.us
More Info: http://youthempowerment.us/

Advocacy efforts engage the community in conversations to build awareness of community food security.

The NJ Farm to School Network is the state lead for the National Farm to School Network, a national organization that advocates for and forges stronger connections between local agriculture and schools. The organization also advocates for better school food, supports urban agriculture education in school gardens, and run workshops in local schools to teach children about local produce.

Address: 407 Greenwood Avenue, Trenton, NJ 08609
Contact: Beth Feehan, Director; beth@njfarmtoschool.org
Learn More: http://www.njfarmtoschool.org/

The Puerto Rican Action Board (PRAB) is a community development organization that primarily serves low-income, Latino residents. While its name refers to its beginnings as a project of Puerto Rican immigrants, it has continued to serve the city as demographics have changed. PRAB’s Family Success Center partners with Robert Wood Johnson and Rutgers University Snap Education to offer nutrition workshops and Zumba classes. Its Service Access Center houses a small emergency food pantry. PRAB’s Early Childhood Preschools offers breakfast for all students after the first bell (Interview, 2014).

Address: 90 Jersey Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Jacqueline Rivera, Director of Family Services; 732-828-4510, jrivera@prab.org
Learn More: https://www.prab.org/

SouperVan was a healthy, gourmet food truck that bought food locally, offered gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options, provided healthy meals, jobs, and donated money from each meal to the emergency food system. Rutgers students and graduates from Promise Culinary School staffed the SouperVan and it parked in New Brunswick often on the Rutgers campus (Genovese, 2013).

Learn More: http://www.soupervan.org/

Unity Square is a community organization that focuses on labor rights, education, and improving health through locally run organic gardens. Catholic Charities established Unity Square in the early 2000s. Unity Square serves residents of their neighborhood, roughly 40 blocks between Livingston Avenue and Commercial Avenue, between Welton Street and Stanford Street. Its programs engage the community in community gardening as residents own garden plots and harvest their own vegetables. Unty Square also partners with New Labor to combat wage theft, which affects residents’ abilities to buy healthier food and travel to better markets.

Address: 81 Remsen Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Amanda Gallear, Organizer; 732-545-0329
More Info: http://www.ccdom.org/unitysquare

The following organizations engage in a variety of food-related community economic development activities related to job training, job creation, fair wage advocacy, and small business development.

The Community Organization Specialist is a new position in the New Brunswick City government to increase collaboration between the city government and local organizations. Keith Jones, the New Brunswick Community Food Alliance chair, holds the position. Mr. Jones defines food security as having access to enough, adequate, appropriate cultural foods and aims with his position to minimize cultural and generational barriers to food security and health (Interview, 2014).

The Community Food Bank of New Jersey in Hillside is a non-profit food bank that fights hunger and poverty by increasing food access, providing nutrition and food-based education and job training, and supplying children with clothing and school supplies. Each year, the food bank provides 40 million pounds of food to more than 1,000 food pantries and food distributors in eight NJ counties.

Address: 31 Evans Terminal Road, Hillside, NJ 07205
Contact: Donald Farrell; 908-355-3663, dfarrel@njfoodbank.org
Learn more: http://www.cfbnj.org/

Better World Cafe is a community kitchen that envisions a world in which all eat healthy sustainable food. The cafe, located in Highland Park, allows consumers to “pay what you can”. Those who can afford to pay a little more for their meal subsidize those who choose the daily complimentary meal. Volunteers, staff, and Promise Culinary School graduates locally procure produce when possible, create tasty and nutritious seasonal menus, and compost food scraps. Proceeds are cycled back to Elijah’s Promise to provide food and resources to those in need.

Better World Market is a local food market that provides job training and job opportunities, connects farmers with consumers, and directs profits to Elijah’s Promise’s Community Soup Kitchen. A partnership with Suydam farms, Better World Market works with the NJ Farmers Bureau to source and sell local produce. Better World Market’s offerings include local produce, baked goods from the Better World Bakery, and products from small NJ businesses. The Community Soup Kitchen and Promise Culinary School use unsold produce in their programs minimizing waste, providing healthy food to at-risk people, and creating new opportunities. New Jersey Monthly has lauded the market for having the largest selection of Jersey-made food products they’ve seen under one roof (New Jersey Monthly, 2014).

Promise Culinary School teaches the skills necessary for entry-level employment in the foodservice industry. The intensive 6 month, state certified job training program has trained over 650 individuals since its inception in 1997. Most trainees have been people with low incomes and people who have disabilities, are homeless, or unemployed. Students receive instruction in math, communication, life and job readiness skills and complete an externship at a local food service establishment to receive hands-on job training, which helps with the transition from school to work. The program’s graduation rate is approximately 85% and, of those who graduate, 95% are placed in jobs. Partial or full financial assistance is provided to many students and ensures opportunities for individuals of all backgrounds. Many program graduates work within Elijah’s Promise’s network at Promise Catering, Better World Bakery, and Better World Market. Promise Culinary School runs a Community Supported Bread program and sells products at a variety of locations to help fund the job training programs.

SouperVan was a healthy, gourmet food truck that bought food locally, offered gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options, provided healthy meals, jobs, and donated money from each meal to the emergency food system. Rutgers students and graduates from Promise Culinary School staffed the SouperVan and it parked in New Brunswick often on the Rutgers campus (Genovese, 2013).

Learn More: http://www.soupervan.org/

Unity Square is a community organization that focuses on labor rights, education, and improving health through locally run organic gardens. Catholic Charities established Unity Square in the early 2000s. Unity Square serves residents of their neighborhood, roughly 40 blocks between Livingston Avenue and Commercial Avenue, between Welton Street and Stanford Street. Its programs engage the community in community gardening as residents own garden plots and harvest their own vegetables. Unty Square also partners with New Labor to combat wage theft, which affects residents’ abilities to buy healthier food and travel to better markets.

Address: 81 Remsen Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Amanda Gallear, Organizer; 732-545-0329
More Info: http://www.ccdom.org/unitysquare

Youth Empowerment Services (YES) is a non-profit organization that helps children become successful, engaged adults through mentoring, tutoring, and social programs. YES’s Oasis summer camp provides breakfast and lunch to its participants, along with opportunities to learn about new foods and healthy eating. During X-Cite Nite, which occurs twice a week, children have nutritious snacks and the opportunity to relax and play in a safe environment. The organization also provides financial literacy classes to parents, where they learn the most cost- effective ways to buy and store food.

Address: 270 George Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Barry Smith, Executive Director & Founder; 732-937-9377, bsmith@youthempowerment.us
More Info: http://youthempowerment.us/

Education initiatives involve proper guidance to residents about nutrition, and fostering a broad understanding of community food security and how to achieve it. The following organizations have initiatives that either teach people who are at risk for food insecurity about healthy living, and how and where to access fresh healthy food, or conduct programs that teach the broader community about food security.

Anshe Emeth Community Development Corporation (AECDC) collaborates with service providers and other agencies. AECDC Food Funnel collects donated food for Elijah’s Promise Soup Kitchen and food pantries in Middlesex County and Franklin Township (Anshe Emeth Community Development Corporation).

Address: 222 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Norka Torres; 732-296-9922
Learn more: http://www.aecdc.org/our-services/aecdc-food-funnel

The Community Organization Specialist is a new position in the New Brunswick City government to increase collaboration between the city government and local organizations. Keith Jones, the New Brunswick Community Food Alliance chair, holds the position. Mr. Jones defines food security as having access to enough, adequate, appropriate cultural foods and aims with his position to minimize cultural and generational barriers to food security and health (Interview, 2014).

The Community Food Bank of New Jersey in Hillside is a non-profit food bank that fights hunger and poverty by increasing food access, providing nutrition and food-based education and job training, and supplying children with clothing and school supplies. Each year, the food bank provides 40 million pounds of food to more than 1,000 food pantries and food distributors in eight NJ counties.

Address: 31 Evans Terminal Road, Hillside, NJ 07205
Contact: Donald Farrell; 908-355-3663, dfarrel@njfoodbank.org
Learn more: http://www.cfbnj.org/

Better World Cafe is a community kitchen that envisions a world in which all eat healthy sustainable food. The cafe, located in Highland Park, allows consumers to “pay what you can”. Those who can afford to pay a little more for their meal subsidize those who choose the daily complimentary meal. Volunteers, staff, and Promise Culinary School graduates locally procure produce when possible, create tasty and nutritious seasonal menus, and compost food scraps. Proceeds are cycled back to Elijah’s Promise to provide food and resources to those in need.

Better World Market is a local food market that provides job training and job opportunities, connects farmers with consumers, and directs profits to Elijah’s Promise’s Community Soup Kitchen. A partnership with Suydam farms, Better World Market works with the NJ Farmers Bureau to source and sell local produce. Better World Market’s offerings include local produce, baked goods from the Better World Bakery, and products from small NJ businesses. The Community Soup Kitchen and Promise Culinary School use unsold produce in their programs minimizing waste, providing healthy food to at-risk people, and creating new opportunities. New Jersey Monthly has lauded the market for having the largest selection of Jersey-made food products they’ve seen under one roof (New Jersey Monthly, 2014).

Elijah’s Promise’s Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) program brings fresh farm food into the city and supports its other programs. A diverse group of members support the CSA ensuring that Elijah’s Promise can purchase shares for people who are homeless, those with HIV/AIDS and for use in the Community Soup Kitchen. The CSA pricing is stratified by income level and provides healthy food access to anyone regardless of income.

Elijah’s Promise’s Community Soup Kitchen serves more than 300 meals a day and 100,000 a year. Volunteers and Promise Culinary School graduates cook nutritious meals using fresh ingredients. Chef Pam Johnson, a graduate of Promise Culinary School, runs the Community Kitchen and goes the extra mile for others. She epitomizes the lasting impact their programs have on the lives of those who use them.

Because Community Soup Kitchen guests often need supportive services, a social services team provides information and referrals for housing assistance and medical services including mental health and addiction counseling. An on-site service program provides health and vision screenings, flu shots, and HIV/AIDS prevention and testing. Staff and peer workers help homeless people find housing and provide entry into treatment for substance abuse and mental illness. And their Homeless Empowerment Action Response Team (HEART) delivers food, blankets, hygiene products and service referrals to homeless people in Middlesex County. The Community Kitchen is also a refuge for the homeless during harsh winter nights through a “code blue” program which goes into effect when temperatures dip below freezing or it is snowing. The Community Kitchen was in Code Blue status last winter 25 times as a warming center for guests who stayed from 7pm to 7am.

Promise Culinary School teaches the skills necessary for entry-level employment in the foodservice industry. The intensive 6 month, state certified job training program has trained over 650 individuals since its inception in 1997. Most trainees have been people with low incomes and people who have disabilities, are homeless, or unemployed. Students receive instruction in math, communication, life and job readiness skills and complete an externship at a local food service establishment to receive hands-on job training, which helps with the transition from school to work. The program’s graduation rate is approximately 85% and, of those who graduate, 95% are placed in jobs. Partial or full financial assistance is provided to many students and ensures opportunities for individuals of all backgrounds. Many program graduates work within Elijah’s Promise’s network at Promise Catering, Better World Bakery, and Better World Market. Promise Culinary School runs a Community Supported Bread program and sells products at a variety of locations to help fund the job training programs.

Shiloh Community Garden has provided New Brunswick residents with the space and educational resources to grow food since 2010. The program shares the best cost-effective practices for growing in home gardens and increases access to fresh food for low-income residents. For $15, residents lease a raised garden bed for a growing season. Group work days and specialized workshops assist amateur gardeners to ensure their success. Elijah’s Promise staff co-manage the Community Garden Coalition, a working group of the New Brunswick Community Food Alliance, which leads the city’s urban agriculture and community gardening activities. A partnership between Elijah’s Promise and the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences led to the creation of a 35 tree apple orchard at the garden in 2013 (Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences AES Newsroom, 2013).

Farmers Against Hunger is a volunteer produce gleaning organization that ensures that food insecure individuals in NJ have access to fresh produce. The New Jersey Agricultural Society established it in 1996. Volunteers pick surplus produce from farms, Farmers Against Hunger delivers the food to four distribution sites in New Jersey, and local food distributors bring it to food banks and soup kitchens (Interview, 2014).

Address: 1200 Florence Columbus Road, Bordentown, NJ 08505
Contact: Kristina Guttadora, Executive Director; 609-462-9691, farmersagainsthunger@gmail.com
Learn More: http://www.njagsociety.org/farmers-against-hunger.html

Food for Thought is a volunteer organization that collects food donations from local restaurants and cooks and serves meals every two weeks on Saturday mornings. It integrates Rutgers students, local businesses, and New Brunswick residents. A small group of Rutgers students created Food for Thought in July of 2014. Food for Thought hopes to create dialogue between its volunteers and those it serves (Interview, 2014).

Contact: Shireen Hamza, Organizer; shireen5221@gmail.com
Learn More: Facebook group: “Food for Thought, New Brunswick”

The Middlesex County Office of Aging and Disabled Services operates programs to improve food security.

  • Farmers Market offers vouchers to those eligible to purchase fresh produce from June to November.
  • Global Options (GO) Program offers long-term care services to those meeting the requirements. Eligible clients receive meals, medical supplies, and other services. Clients must be 65 or older or people with disabilities, ages 21-64.
  • Jersey Assistance for Community Caregiving (JACC) in-home services supports individuals who age at home with home delivered meals, adult day health, and environmental accessibility modifications, among other services.
  • Senior Meals Program delivers food to seven locations in Middlesex County and delivers one meal per day, five days per week. Weekday and weekend home delivered meal programs are available for homebound seniors.
  • Seniors with health conditions are eligible for Ensure Plus through the “Ensure Seniors Are Nourished” program.
  • Congregate meal sites offer Nutrition Education & Health Awareness lectures at eight locations listed on the county website.

Address: 75 Bayard Street – 5th floor, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Laila Caune, Director; 732-745-3295, answersonaging@co.middlesex.nj.us
Learn More: http://co.middlesex.nj.us/aging/ and http://www.co.middlesex.nj.us/Government/Departments/CS/Pages/Aging %20and%20Disabled%20Services/Nutrition-Services.aspx

The New Brunswick Public Schools offer programs to improve community food security. The Universal Breakfast Program provides breakfast for all students every day after the first bell. The Greater Brunswick Charter School created a school garden to teach students about fresh fruits, vegetables, and growing food. 4H New Brunswick and Food Corps provide nutrition classes. The New Brunswick High School also has a community garden and the Environmental club and the culinary class use it (Interview 2014).

Contact: Thalya Reyes, thalya.reyes@foodcorps.org
Learn More: http://www.nbpschools.net/

The NJ Farm to School Network is the state lead for the National Farm to School Network, a national organization that advocates for and forges stronger connections between local agriculture and schools. The organization also advocates for better school food, supports urban agriculture education in school gardens, and run workshops in local schools to teach children about local produce.

Address: 407 Greenwood Avenue, Trenton, NJ 08609
Contact: Beth Feehan, Director; beth@njfarmtoschool.org
Learn More: http://www.njfarmtoschool.org/

The Puerto Rican Action Board (PRAB) is a community development organization that primarily serves low-income, Latino residents. While its name refers to its beginnings as a project of Puerto Rican immigrants, it has continued to serve the city as demographics have changed. PRAB’s Family Success Center partners with Robert Wood Johnson and Rutgers University Snap Education to offer nutrition workshops and Zumba classes. Its Service Access Center houses a small emergency food pantry. PRAB’s Early Childhood Preschools offers breakfast for all students after the first bell (Interview, 2014).

Address: 90 Jersey Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Jacqueline Rivera, Director of Family Services; 732-828-4510, jrivera@prab.org
Learn More: https://www.prab.org/

The New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids is a coalition of statewide organizations that the Robert Wood Johnson Hospital runs. It focuses on decreasing child obesity through initiatives like the Ciclovia and the Universal Breakfast Program.

Learn More: http://www.njhealthykids.org/

RWJ is making New Brunswick more food secure and nutrition more accessible. The Community Health Promotions Department focuses on education, health promotion, and/or early detection outreach to New Brunswick residents. Efforts include the Fun-in-the-park program, Soccer for Success and local tours that promote health education. The Fun-in-the- park program, in collaboration with New Brunswick Tomorrow, promotes safe and accessible public spaces for families and children to reduce obesity. The Soccer for Success program combines soccer and nutrition and is sponsored through a grant from the American Soccer Foundation. Mariam Merced, Director of the Community Health Promotions Department and co-chair of the New Brunswick Community Food Alliance Community Engagement work group, gives tours for academics and doctors to highlights places that offer nontraditional medical remedies (botanicas) and bodegas. RWJ recently opened the New Brunswick Fitness Center, which houses the city’s only public swimming pool. The recreation center offers swim lessons and houses a commercial kitchen, food demonstrations, and a staff nutritionist.

Address: 120 Albany St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: 732-418-8056
Learn More: http://rwjfitnesswellness.com/new-brunswick/

RU Community Service connects students with community service opportunities. Rutgers students support community organizations while they learn about the issues that affect New Brunswick residents, including food insecurity. RU Community Service matches student volunteers with the New Jersey Community Food Bank, Unity Square, Christ Church, Elijah’s Promise, Rutgers Against Hunger, Youth Empowerment Services, and the Franklin Township Food Bank. Other events include Start with Service to engage incoming students, Scarlet Day of service for current students, and hunger awareness week for everyone. Students can also participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) challenge in which they live on $4.50 a day for five days; the event concludes with a discussion on hunger and poverty.

Address: 613 George Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Karen Ardizzone, Associate Director of Community Service; kardizzo@rci.rutgers.edu
Learn More: http://communityservice.rutgers.edu/

4H New Brunswick is a youth development program that focuses on citizenship, healthy living, science, engineering, and technology. It offers nutrition classes at the Greater Brunswick Charter School, organizes a school garden at the Greater Brunswick Charter School, and offers a youth leadership development group called Green Titans Teens Council (Interview, 2014).

Address: 71 Lipman Drive, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Laura Eppinger; 848-932-3700, laura.eppinger@gmail.com
Learn More: http://nj4h.rutgers.edu/

The Collaborative Center for Community Based Research and Service engages Rutgers students in student learning projects through the Community Research Assistant, Community Development, Bonner, and Americorp programs. Students who participate in the Rutgers Bonner Leadership Program complete 300 hours of service with a community partner on food security, English language learning or mentoring programs. Students in the The Community Research Assistant Program work on community projects and earn three credits. Through the Advancing Community Development program, students work in yearlong project teams with a New Brunswick community partner and Johnson and Johnson mentor and earn 3 credits for each semester of participation. While the Community Research Assistant and Advancing Community Development programs do not focus only on food security, students often work on community food security projects (Interview, 2014).

Address: 640 Bartholomew Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Amy Michael, Senior Program Administrator; amymic@rci.rutgers.edu
Learn More: http://engage.rutgers.edu/

The Department of Family and Community Health Sciences (FCHS) is a nutrition and wellness outreach program that provides workshops and educational resources to community members. Educational program topics include the benefits of family dining, workplace wellness, health literacy, and physical activity.

Address: 88 Lipman Drive, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Kathleen T. Morgan, Department Chair; 848-932-3661, morgan@njaes.rutgers.edu
Learn More: http://njaes.rutgers.edu/fchs/

Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension runs the federal Expanded Food and Nutrition Program (EFNEP), which provides nutrition education to limited-resource families. EFNEP provides similar nutrition education programs to SNAP-Ed, conducted by peer educators in religious institutions and community centers (EFNEP website; Interview, 2014). The educational programs aim to increase knowledge about food safety and nutrition, improve food choices, and encourage meal and budget planning. The program is open to all limited-resource families.

Address: 11 Suydam Street, 2nd Floor, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Dr. Debra Palmer, Director; 732-932-9853, dpalmer@aesop.rutgers.edu
Learn More: http://njaes.rutgers.edu/efnep/

FoodCorps is an AmeriCorps program housed within Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension and the New Jersey Farm to School Network that assigns individuals to address food-related needs in the community. Currently, New Brunswick’s FoodCorps member works at the Jones Avenue Esperanza Community Garden, creates programs for the New Brunswick High School and the Greater Brunswick Charter School community gardens, and teaches a course titled “All about Food” at the Greater Brunswick Charter School (Interview, 2014).

Address: 178 Jones Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Thalya Reyes, FoodCorps Member; thalya.reyes@foodcorps.org
Learn More: https://foodcorps.org/

Johnson & Johnson and Rutgers University Cooperative Extension run the New Brunswick Community Farmers Market (NBCFM), a community farmers market that increases access to fresh healthy food and instills healthy eating habits. Nutrition interns and SNAP-Ed educators provide nutrition lessons and food purchasing tips. People who use federal nutrition assistance such as SNAP, WIC checks, and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers can receive an additional 50% more produce through the Market Bucks program. Those who spend $10 receive an extra $5 in Market Bucks, which extends their food budgets and encourages the purchase of fresh produce. The market also operates a community garden in which volunteers and residents plant produce for the community (NBCFM website; Bradshaw, 2013).

Address: Thursdays (11am – 3pm) and Saturdays (10am – 3pm) at 178 Jones Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901; Wednesdays (11am – 3pm) at 108 Albany Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901; June through November.
Contact: Sarah Dixon, Senior Program Coordinator; 848-932-3706, nbcfarmersmarket@gmail.com
Learn More: http://www.nbcfarmersmarket.com/

The New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health, which will open during the summer of 2015, will be an interdisciplinary space for research about food, nutrition, and health with the objective of stemming the childhood obesity epidemic. The institute’s facilities will include a healthy eating courtyard, a nutrition counseling center, a childhood learning and resource center, and research centers dedicated to studying physical activity, lipid metabolism, food policy and ethics, and student wellness.
Address: 63 Dudley Road, New Brunswick NJ 08901
Contact: Peter Gillies, IFNH Founding Director; 848-932-3500, director@ifnh.rutgers.edu
Learn More: http://ifnh.rutgers.edu/

SNAP-Ed is the educational branch of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the federal food stamp program. Its mission is to improve the food security of those receiving SNAP benefits by providing nutrition education. Though much of the nutrition education takes place in community centers and religious institutions, the recipes, cooking and exercise instructional videos, and shopping tips are available on the program’s website. Participants of SNAP-Ed’s nutrition education programs report consuming more fruit, reading nutrition labels more frequently, and running out of food at the end of the month less frequently (SNAP-Ed website; Interview, 2014).

Address: 11 Suydam Street, 2nd Floor, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Dr. Debra Palmer, Director; 732-932-9853, dpalmer@aesop.rutgers.edu
Learn More: http://www.snaped4me.org/, http://www.njsnap-ed.org/

The Rutgers Nutritional Sciences Preschool is the only preschool dedicated to teaching children about nutrition in the country. The program, created in 1991, operates in collaboration with the Rutgers Nutritional Sciences Department and provides developmental and nutrition education to 3 and 4 year-old children and a research environment for Rutgers students and faculty. By providing students with healthy snacks and cooking activities, the Nutritional Sciences Preschool instills healthy eating habits in children (Interview, 2014; Rutgers Nutritional Sciences Preschool website).

Address: Davison Hall, 26 Nichol Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Mrs. Harriet Worobey, Director; 732-932-8895, harrietw@rci.rutgers.edu
Learn More: http://nutrition.rutgers.edu/presch/

The Salvation Army provides food, by appointment, once a month and their pantry is open 3 days a week.

Address: 287 Handy Street, New Brunswick NJ 08901
Learn More: http://newjersey.salvationarmy.org/NewJersey/newbrunswick

Elijah’s Promise and the Ralph W. Voorhees Center partnered to enhance community food security and food-related community economic development. With a Rutgers University Community University Research Partnership grant, teams of students, faculty, community residents, city staff, and others visited urban agriculture and community food economy projects to inform urban agriculture and food economy projects in New Brunswick. During the summer of 2012, community university teams visited food hubs, urban farms, food business incubators, farm markets, and other innovative food-related community economic development projects in New York City and Philadelphia to gain inspiration for projects in New Jersey.
Address: 33 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Professor Kathe Newman; knewman@rutgers.edu
Learn More: policy.rutgers.edu/rwv

Women Aware is Middlesex County’s top domestic violence agency dedicated to ending domestic violence in the lives of children, women, and men (Women Aware). Women Aware offers a variety of services for domestic violence survivors, including the Safe House which provides food along with other supportive services.

Address: 250 Livingston Avenue New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Phyllis Adams, Executive Director; 732-249-4900
Learn More: http://womenaware.net/

Youth Empowerment Services (YES) is a non-profit organization that helps children become successful, engaged adults through mentoring, tutoring, and social programs. YES’s Oasis summer camp provides breakfast and lunch to its participants, along with opportunities to learn about new foods and healthy eating. During X-Cite Nite, which occurs twice a week, children have nutritious snacks and the opportunity to relax and play in a safe environment. The organization also provides financial literacy classes to parents, where they learn the most cost- effective ways to buy and store food.

Address: 270 George Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Barry Smith, Executive Director & Founder; 732-937-9377, bsmith@youthempowerment.us
More Info: http://youthempowerment.us/

These organizations have conducted research regarding food insecurity and innovative ways towards establishing community food security.

RWJ is making New Brunswick more food secure and nutrition more accessible. The Community Health Promotions Department focuses on education, health promotion, and/or early detection outreach to New Brunswick residents. Efforts include the Fun-in-the-park program, Soccer for Success and local tours that promote health education. The Fun-in-the- park program, in collaboration with New Brunswick Tomorrow, promotes safe and accessible public spaces for families and children to reduce obesity. The Soccer for Success program combines soccer and nutrition and is sponsored through a grant from the American Soccer Foundation. Mariam Merced, Director of the Community Health Promotions Department and co-chair of the New Brunswick Community Food Alliance Community Engagement work group, gives tours for academics and doctors to highlights places that offer nontraditional medical remedies (botanicas) and bodegas. RWJ recently opened the New Brunswick Fitness Center, which houses the city’s only public swimming pool. The recreation center offers swim lessons and houses a commercial kitchen, food demonstrations, and a staff nutritionist.

Address: 120 Albany St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: 732-418-8056
Learn More: http://rwjfitnesswellness.com/new-brunswick/

The Collaborative Center for Community Based Research and Service engages Rutgers students in student learning projects through the Community Research Assistant, Community Development, Bonner, and Americorp programs. Students who participate in the Rutgers Bonner Leadership Program complete 300 hours of service with a community partner on food security, English language learning or mentoring programs. Students in the The Community Research Assistant Program work on community projects and earn three credits. Through the Advancing Community Development program, students work in yearlong project teams with a New Brunswick community partner and Johnson and Johnson mentor and earn 3 credits for each semester of participation. While the Community Research Assistant and Advancing Community Development programs do not focus only on food security, students often work on community food security projects (Interview, 2014).

Address: 640 Bartholomew Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Amy Michael, Senior Program Administrator; amymic@rci.rutgers.edu
Learn More: http://engage.rutgers.edu/

The New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health, which will open during the summer of 2015, will be an interdisciplinary space for research about food, nutrition, and health with the objective of stemming the childhood obesity epidemic. The institute’s facilities will include a healthy eating courtyard, a nutrition counseling center, a childhood learning and resource center, and research centers dedicated to studying physical activity, lipid metabolism, food policy and ethics, and student wellness.
Address: 63 Dudley Road, New Brunswick NJ 08901
Contact: Peter Gillies, IFNH Founding Director; 848-932-3500, director@ifnh.rutgers.edu
Learn More: http://ifnh.rutgers.edu/

The Rutgers Nutritional Sciences Preschool is the only preschool dedicated to teaching children about nutrition in the country. The program, created in 1991, operates in collaboration with the Rutgers Nutritional Sciences Department and provides developmental and nutrition education to 3 and 4 year-old children and a research environment for Rutgers students and faculty. By providing students with healthy snacks and cooking activities, the Nutritional Sciences Preschool instills healthy eating habits in children (Interview, 2014; Rutgers Nutritional Sciences Preschool website).

Address: Davison Hall, 26 Nichol Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Mrs. Harriet Worobey, Director; 732-932-8895, harrietw@rci.rutgers.edu
Learn More: http://nutrition.rutgers.edu/presch/

Elijah’s Promise and the Ralph W. Voorhees Center partnered to enhance community food security and food-related community economic development. With a Rutgers University Community University Research Partnership grant, teams of students, faculty, community residents, city staff, and others visited urban agriculture and community food economy projects to inform urban agriculture and food economy projects in New Brunswick. During the summer of 2012, community university teams visited food hubs, urban farms, food business incubators, farm markets, and other innovative food-related community economic development projects in New York City and Philadelphia to gain inspiration for projects in New Jersey.
Address: 33 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Professor Kathe Newman; knewman@rutgers.edu
Learn More: policy.rutgers.edu/rwv

New Brunswick Community Gardens

New Brunswick Community Gardens

The tabs below show organizations categorized by their type: business, community based organization, food pantry, government (either city, county, state, or federal), hospital, regional organization, and university.

Johnson & Johnson, a manufacturer of health and wellness products, is headquartered in New Brunswick. Its Division of Corporate Giving is dedicated to improving education, health, and community livability in the city. Johnson & Johnson’s staff are community partners who play an active role in the community and in local food security efforts. For example, J&J staff are members of the New Brunswick Community Food Alliance and are active partners in the New Brunswick Community Farmers Market (NBCFM). The market provides fresh produce to the community and J&J provides a grant that allows Elijah’s Promise to buy unsold produce which helps the farmers, reduces waste, and directs fresh summer produce to Elijah’s Promise’s community food programs. Johnson & Johnson also supports the Market Bucks incentive program for consumers who use federal nutrition assistance and the Body and Soul program, which provides market vouchers to faith-based organizations to distribute to their members. Additionally, Johnson & Johnson organizes healthy food drives, developed information about donating foods that are nutrient-dense, supported creating rain gardens as well as screenings of films about food security at the local Crossroads Theatre.

Anshe Emeth Community Development Corporation (AECDC) collaborates with service providers and other agencies. AECDC Food Funnel collects donated food for Elijah’s Promise Soup Kitchen and food pantries in Middlesex County and Franklin Township (Anshe Emeth Community Development Corporation).

Address: 222 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Norka Torres; 732-296-9922
Learn more: http://www.aecdc.org/our-services/aecdc-food-funnel

The Community Food Bank of New Jersey in Hillside is a non-profit food bank that fights hunger and poverty by increasing food access, providing nutrition and food-based education and job training, and supplying children with clothing and school supplies. Each year, the food bank provides 40 million pounds of food to more than 1,000 food pantries and food distributors in eight NJ counties.

Address: 31 Evans Terminal Road, Hillside, NJ 07205
Contact: Donald Farrell; 908-355-3663, dfarrel@njfoodbank.org
Learn more: http://www.cfbnj.org/

Better World Cafe is a community kitchen that envisions a world in which all eat healthy sustainable food. The cafe, located in Highland Park, allows consumers to “pay what you can”. Those who can afford to pay a little more for their meal subsidize those who choose the daily complimentary meal. Volunteers, staff, and Promise Culinary School graduates locally procure produce when possible, create tasty and nutritious seasonal menus, and compost food scraps. Proceeds are cycled back to Elijah’s Promise to provide food and resources to those in need.

Better World Market is a local food market that provides job training and job opportunities, connects farmers with consumers, and directs profits to Elijah’s Promise’s Community Soup Kitchen. A partnership with Suydam farms, Better World Market works with the NJ Farmers Bureau to source and sell local produce. Better World Market’s offerings include local produce, baked goods from the Better World Bakery, and products from small NJ businesses. The Community Soup Kitchen and Promise Culinary School use unsold produce in their programs minimizing waste, providing healthy food to at-risk people, and creating new opportunities. New Jersey Monthly has lauded the market for having the largest selection of Jersey-made food products they’ve seen under one roof (New Jersey Monthly, 2014).

Elijah’s Promise’s Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) program brings fresh farm food into the city and supports its other programs. A diverse group of members support the CSA ensuring that Elijah’s Promise can purchase shares for people who are homeless, those with HIV/AIDS and for use in the Community Soup Kitchen. The CSA pricing is stratified by income level and provides healthy food access to anyone regardless of income.

Elijah’s Promise’s Community Soup Kitchen serves more than 300 meals a day and 100,000 a year. Volunteers and Promise Culinary School graduates cook nutritious meals using fresh ingredients. Chef Pam Johnson, a graduate of Promise Culinary School, runs the Community Kitchen and goes the extra mile for others. She epitomizes the lasting impact their programs have on the lives of those who use them.

Because Community Soup Kitchen guests often need supportive services, a social services team provides information and referrals for housing assistance and medical services including mental health and addiction counseling. An on-site service program provides health and vision screenings, flu shots, and HIV/AIDS prevention and testing. Staff and peer workers help homeless people find housing and provide entry into treatment for substance abuse and mental illness. And their Homeless Empowerment Action Response Team (HEART) delivers food, blankets, hygiene products and service referrals to homeless people in Middlesex County. The Community Kitchen is also a refuge for the homeless during harsh winter nights through a “code blue” program which goes into effect when temperatures dip below freezing or it is snowing. The Community Kitchen was in Code Blue status last winter 25 times as a warming center for guests who stayed from 7pm to 7am.

Promise Culinary School teaches the skills necessary for entry-level employment in the foodservice industry. The intensive 6 month, state certified job training program has trained over 650 individuals since its inception in 1997. Most trainees have been people with low incomes and people who have disabilities, are homeless, or unemployed. Students receive instruction in math, communication, life and job readiness skills and complete an externship at a local food service establishment to receive hands-on job training, which helps with the transition from school to work. The program’s graduation rate is approximately 85% and, of those who graduate, 95% are placed in jobs. Partial or full financial assistance is provided to many students and ensures opportunities for individuals of all backgrounds. Many program graduates work within Elijah’s Promise’s network at Promise Catering, Better World Bakery, and Better World Market. Promise Culinary School runs a Community Supported Bread program and sells products at a variety of locations to help fund the job training programs.

Shiloh Community Garden has provided New Brunswick residents with the space and educational resources to grow food since 2010. The program shares the best cost-effective practices for growing in home gardens and increases access to fresh food for low-income residents. For $15, residents lease a raised garden bed for a growing season. Group work days and specialized workshops assist amateur gardeners to ensure their success. Elijah’s Promise staff co-manage the Community Garden Coalition, a working group of the New Brunswick Community Food Alliance, which leads the city’s urban agriculture and community gardening activities. A partnership between Elijah’s Promise and the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences led to the creation of a 35 tree apple orchard at the garden in 2013 (Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences AES Newsroom, 2013).

Feeding New Brunswick Network is a coalition of emergency food providers and community food pantries. The coalition meets monthly to discuss issues facing food pantries in New Brunswick. The coalition includes ten food pantries in New Brunswick.

Contact: nb_pantry_wm@yahoo.com

Food for Thought is a volunteer organization that collects food donations from local restaurants and cooks and serves meals every two weeks on Saturday mornings. It integrates Rutgers students, local businesses, and New Brunswick residents. A small group of Rutgers students created Food for Thought in July of 2014. Food for Thought hopes to create dialogue between its volunteers and those it serves (Interview, 2014).

Contact: Shireen Hamza, Organizer; shireen5221@gmail.com
Learn More: Facebook group: “Food for Thought, New Brunswick”

Meals on Wheels of Greater New Brunswick is a non-profit organization that provides home- delivered food to aging adults in New Brunswick and Highland Park. The organization helps aging adults maintain their independence, even if they cannot cook or shop for themselves. Meals on Wheels volunteers deliver more than 30,000 meals annually. Elijah’s Promise’s Promise Catering service cooks all meals.

Address: 211 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Shareka Fitz, Program Director; 732-249-3488, MOWgnb@aol.com
Learn More: http://mowgnb.org/

The Advocacy and Policy Work Group advocates for policies to improve access to healthy and affordable food for everyone (New Brunswick Community Food Alliance’s website). It addresses NBCFA’s research needs and pays attention to studies and policies that could affect New Brunswick’s community food security. The work group hosts potlucks and panels to raise awareness about food insecurity and facilitate discussion.They collaborated with the Healthy Food Access work group on the Breakfast After the Bell program. Current discussions include improving the Breakfast After the Bell program, conducting research on new programs and initiatives such as beekeeping and exploring labor and social justice in restaurants and cultural institutions (Interview, 2014).

The Agriculture Work Group promotes sustainable agriculture, energy-efficient practices and community gardening (New Brunswick Community Food Alliance’s website). Agenda items for 2015 include participation in a January Food Forum, establishing community gardens in the New Brunswick public school system, working on an urban pollinator ordinance and collaborating with Elijah’s Promise’s Culinary School to create a community-maintained compost zone. The Agriculture working group works closely with the Community Garden Coalition (CGC).

The Community Engagement Work Group engages residents to improve community food security and addresses social, racial, ethnic, and economic barriers in doing so (New Brunswick Community Food Alliance’s website). Initially work group volunteers raised food security awareness in a variety of ways including by handing out flyers on the streets. Today, the work group hosts community events, such as demonstrations on how to: cook on a budget, use healthier recipes and understand food portions. Other activities include a seasonal Harvesting Healthy Recipes event and supermarket tours to teach residents about nutritional labels, products and sales. Future projects include a partnership with local supermarkets to host in- store tables and panels that explain products and a restaurant partnership to include nutritional information on menus (Interview, 2014).

The Community Gardening Coalition (CGC) Is an extension of the Agriculture work group that has established and promoted a community garden network in New Brunswick. The CGC predates the NBCFA as a seed swap group and now oversees 11 community gardens and about 180 garden beds that approximately 140-150 residents maintain. It costs approximately $15 per year to rent a bed and the money is used for garden maintenance. Gardeners grow produce for personal consumption. Coordinator(s), who try to be inclusive towards the food insecure members of the community, organize the gardens. The Cook Organic Club is unique because it is run by people affiliated with Rutgers and is one large plot. Future CGC projects include designing and implementing the Shiloh Orchard, organizing gleaning days and developing partnerships with food pantries and soup kitchens. The CGC has been collaborating with the New Brunswick City Council since March 2014 to be recognized as a conservancy to increase its capacity (Interview, 2014; D’Auria, 2012).

The New Brunswick Community Garden Coalition includes eleven gardens:

  • The Community Garden at Christ Church, 5 Paterson Street
  • Cook Organic Garden Club (on Cook/Douglass Campus), College Farm Road
  • Feaster Park Community Garden, 126 Throop Ave ( Unity Square)
  • Greater New Brunswick Charter School community garden, 429 Joyce Kilmer
  • Jardin de Esperanza (“Garden of Hope”), 178 Jones Ave (New Brunswick Farm Market). • Jim Landers Community Garden, 220 Suydam Street (Unity Square)
  • Johnson & Johnson’s Garden, (Johnson & Johnson), primarily for employees.
  • New Brunswick High School community garden
  • Pope Francis Community Garden, 200 George Street (Sacred Heart Church)
  • Shiloh Community Garden, 1 Oliver Street (Elijah’s Promise)
  • St. Isabella Isadore Community Garden, 56 Throop Ave (Sacred Heart Church)

The Pope Francis Garden is planned to close in 2015, but three new gardens are in various stages of planning. A garden at Recreation Park, at 411 Joyce Kilmer, is planned for 2015. Two others, one at Buccleuch Park at 321 Easton Avenue and Archibald Park at 15 Van Dyke Avenue, are in early planning (Interview, 2014).

The Food Economic Development Work Group promotes job creation, job skills development and fosters local ownership and business development (New Brunswick Community Food Alliance’s website). One initiative is a project to establish a food business and kitchen incubator to help grow small food businesses. The work group surveyed community members to better understand their small food business interests and needs, identified commercial kitchen space in and around New Brunswick, and recognized that implementing a small business food incubator means negotiating many challenges including liability, insurance and funding. In another project, the work group collaborated with the Healthy Food Access work group on the Healthy Corner Store Initiative. Recent discussion items include the logistics of creating a food distribution center for New Brunswick (Interview, 2014).

The Healthy Food Access Work Group encourages schools, businesses and others to provide healthy and affordable food (New Brunswick Community Food Alliance’s website). The work group has played an active role in some of the NBCFA’s biggest projects. Breakfast After the Bell is a collaboration with city government and the New Brunswick public school system to guarantee healthy breakfast for school children. The work group is playing an active role in improving the nutritional quality of the breakfast while promoting the program to parents. The Healthy Corner Store Initiative, a current project, is a partnership with the city to survey small grocery stores to learn about the nutritional quality of their items. Project goals are to partner with store owners to stock and promote healthier food. The work group collaborated with the Feeding New Brunswick Network of food pantries to help food pantries provide healthier, culturally appropriate food. Future projects may include a food co-op, a map for the Healthy Corner Store Initiative, and an after school healthy snacks program for athletes and clubs in the public schools (Interview, 2014).

The Puerto Rican Action Board (PRAB) is a community development organization that primarily serves low-income, Latino residents. While its name refers to its beginnings as a project of Puerto Rican immigrants, it has continued to serve the city as demographics have changed. PRAB’s Family Success Center partners with Robert Wood Johnson and Rutgers University Snap Education to offer nutrition workshops and Zumba classes. Its Service Access Center houses a small emergency food pantry. PRAB’s Early Childhood Preschools offers breakfast for all students after the first bell (Interview, 2014).

Address: 90 Jersey Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Jacqueline Rivera, Director of Family Services; 732-828-4510, jrivera@prab.org
Learn More: https://www.prab.org/

SouperVan was a healthy, gourmet food truck that bought food locally, offered gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options, provided healthy meals, jobs, and donated money from each meal to the emergency food system. Rutgers students and graduates from Promise Culinary School staffed the SouperVan and it parked in New Brunswick often on the Rutgers campus (Genovese, 2013).

Learn More: http://www.soupervan.org/

Unity Square is a community organization that focuses on labor rights, education, and improving health through locally run organic gardens. Catholic Charities established Unity Square in the early 2000s. Unity Square serves residents of their neighborhood, roughly 40 blocks between Livingston Avenue and Commercial Avenue, between Welton Street and Stanford Street. Its programs engage the community in community gardening as residents own garden plots and harvest their own vegetables. Unty Square also partners with New Labor to combat wage theft, which affects residents’ abilities to buy healthier food and travel to better markets.

Address: 81 Remsen Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Amanda Gallear, Organizer; 732-545-0329
More Info: http://www.ccdom.org/unitysquare

Youth Empowerment Services (YES) is a non-profit organization that helps children become successful, engaged adults through mentoring, tutoring, and social programs. YES’s Oasis summer camp provides breakfast and lunch to its participants, along with opportunities to learn about new foods and healthy eating. During X-Cite Nite, which occurs twice a week, children have nutritious snacks and the opportunity to relax and play in a safe environment. The organization also provides financial literacy classes to parents, where they learn the most cost- effective ways to buy and store food.

Address: 270 George Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Barry Smith, Executive Director & Founder; 732-937-9377, bsmith@youthempowerment.us
More Info: http://youthempowerment.us/

Food Pantry Map

New Brunswick Food Pantries

The Christ Church Episcopal Food Pantry serves anyone in need.

Address: 5 Paterson Street, New Brunswick NJ 08901

Ebenezer Baptist Church’s food pantry serves anyone in need.

Address: 126 Lee Street, New Brunswick NJ 08901

The Emanuel Lutheran pantry serves those in need who may access food once a month.

Address: 151 New Street, New Brunswick NJ 08901
More Info: http://www.emanuelnb.org/outreach-mission/our-food-pantry

The Second Reform Church’s Five Loaves Food Pantry provides free food for community members based on points system determined by family size and income.

Address: 5 Paterson Street, New Brunswick NJ, 08901
More Info: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Five-Loaves-Food-Pantry/177753575640190

The St. Vincent de Paul food pantry serves those who qualify under The Emergency Food Assistance Program guidelines once a week.

Address: 29 Abeel Street, New Brunswick NJ 08901

Suydam Street Reformed Church provides canned and packaged goods, and bread
and pastries are distributed on Sundays. Recipients need identification and can access food once a month.

Address: 74 Drift Street, New Brunswick NJ 08901
Learn More: http://www.suydamstreetreformedchurch.org/

Tabernacle Baptist Church provides emergency food and a cooked meal on the second Monday of each month.

Address: 239 George Street, New Brunswick NJ 08901

The Community Organization Specialist is a new position in the New Brunswick City government to increase collaboration between the city government and local organizations. Keith Jones, the New Brunswick Community Food Alliance chair, holds the position. Mr. Jones defines food security as having access to enough, adequate, appropriate cultural foods and aims with his position to minimize cultural and generational barriers to food security and health (Interview, 2014).

The school free and reduced price lunch program provides resources to school districts to serve lower income children, while allowing schoolchildren to benefit from national and statewide nutritional standards to reduce childhood obesity and encourage positive health outcomes. Among the 7,894 children enrolled in New Brunswick public schools in the 2012-3 academic year, 7,329 (93%) qualified for free or reduced priced lunches (New Jersey Department of Education). Eligibility requirements are determined by household income, adjusted for the size of the household. The maximum annual household income for eligibility begins at $21,590 and increases by $7,511 with each additional member of the household. For example, a family of four making $44,123 annually or less is eligible for their children to receive free or reduced breakfast and lunch. Parents or guardians must apply for the program on behalf of their children at their school (New Jersey Department of Agriculture). All schools, including private, nonprofit and charter schools, are eligible for participation. Schools must follow the nutritional guidelines outlined by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture that mandate minimums for fruits, vegetables, lowfat milk, and whole grains, and set limits on foods high in fat or sugar.

Learn More: http://www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/fn/fooddistrib/

MCFOODS, a county food bank established in 1994, distributes food to 80 community food organizations such as food pantries and soup kitchens to ensure that Middlesex County residents in need can access healthy free food. MCFOODS established a network of local food distributors that meets monthly and shares produce, resources, and volunteers. Its food comes from community food drives, the State Food Purchase Program (SFPP) and Commodities program, monetary donations, and corporate and other donations (MCFOODS; Interview, 2014).

Address: 101 Interchange Plaza, Suite 202, Cranbury, NJ 08512
Contact: Jennifer Apostol, Coordinator; 609-655-4748, ja@mciauth.com
Learn More: http://www.mciauth.com/mcfoods.htm

The Middlesex County Office of Aging and Disabled Services operates programs to improve food security.

  • Farmers Market offers vouchers to those eligible to purchase fresh produce from June to November.
  • Global Options (GO) Program offers long-term care services to those meeting the requirements. Eligible clients receive meals, medical supplies, and other services. Clients must be 65 or older or people with disabilities, ages 21-64.
  • Jersey Assistance for Community Caregiving (JACC) in-home services supports individuals who age at home with home delivered meals, adult day health, and environmental accessibility modifications, among other services.
  • Senior Meals Program delivers food to seven locations in Middlesex County and delivers one meal per day, five days per week. Weekday and weekend home delivered meal programs are available for homebound seniors.
  • Seniors with health conditions are eligible for Ensure Plus through the “Ensure Seniors Are Nourished” program.
  • Congregate meal sites offer Nutrition Education & Health Awareness lectures at eight locations listed on the county website.

Address: 75 Bayard Street – 5th floor, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Laila Caune, Director; 732-745-3295, answersonaging@co.middlesex.nj.us
Learn More: http://co.middlesex.nj.us/aging/ and http://www.co.middlesex.nj.us/Government/Departments/CS/Pages/Aging %20and%20Disabled%20Services/Nutrition-Services.aspx

The New Brunswick Public Schools offer programs to improve community food security. The Universal Breakfast Program provides breakfast for all students every day after the first bell. The Greater Brunswick Charter School created a school garden to teach students about fresh fruits, vegetables, and growing food. 4H New Brunswick and Food Corps provide nutrition classes. The New Brunswick High School also has a community garden and the Environmental club and the culinary class use it (Interview 2014).

Contact: Thalya Reyes, thalya.reyes@foodcorps.org
Learn More: http://www.nbpschools.net/

SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is a government program previously known as food stamps, that provides food for low-income households. It is the largest food security program in the country (U.S. Department of Agriculture). The 2014 Farm Bill included $100 million in matching funds for “double bucks” programs in farmers markets across the country. “Double bucks” means that SNAP benefits are doubled when used to purchase local produce at participating farmer’s markets. In other words, SNAP recipients can double their benefits when using them to purchase healthy local food (National Public Radio, 2014; Double Up Food Bucks). The $100 million must be matched by private funding, but local food security organizations and farmers’ markets that can find the money can use it to help SNAP recipients afford to eat healthy while supporting local farmers (Charles, 2014).

Learn More: http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/

Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) is a federally funded program that provides assistance for women, infants and children. The WIC program for Middlesex and Monmouth County is under Visiting Nurse Association Health Group, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion, restoration and maintenance of the health status of individuals and the community. The aim of the WIC program is to help decrease the risk of poor birth outcomes and to improve the health of infants and children during critical times of growth and development, through the distribution of vouchers for supplemental nutritious foods, coupled with access to nutrition education, and appropriate referrals to other health or social services.

Contact: Payal Arora; Payal.Arora@vnahg.org
Learn More: http://www.state.nj.us/health/fhs/wic/localagencies.shtml

The New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids is a coalition of statewide organizations that the Robert Wood Johnson Hospital runs. It focuses on decreasing child obesity through initiatives like the Ciclovia and the Universal Breakfast Program.

Learn More: http://www.njhealthykids.org/

RWJ is making New Brunswick more food secure and nutrition more accessible. The Community Health Promotions Department focuses on education, health promotion, and/or early detection outreach to New Brunswick residents. Efforts include the Fun-in-the-park program, Soccer for Success and local tours that promote health education. The Fun-in-the- park program, in collaboration with New Brunswick Tomorrow, promotes safe and accessible public spaces for families and children to reduce obesity. The Soccer for Success program combines soccer and nutrition and is sponsored through a grant from the American Soccer Foundation. Mariam Merced, Director of the Community Health Promotions Department and co-chair of the New Brunswick Community Food Alliance Community Engagement work group, gives tours for academics and doctors to highlights places that offer nontraditional medical remedies (botanicas) and bodegas. RWJ recently opened the New Brunswick Fitness Center, which houses the city’s only public swimming pool. The recreation center offers swim lessons and houses a commercial kitchen, food demonstrations, and a staff nutritionist.

Address: 120 Albany St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: 732-418-8056
Learn More: http://rwjfitnesswellness.com/new-brunswick/

Farmers Against Hunger is a volunteer produce gleaning organization that ensures that food insecure individuals in NJ have access to fresh produce. The New Jersey Agricultural Society established it in 1996. Volunteers pick surplus produce from farms, Farmers Against Hunger delivers the food to four distribution sites in New Jersey, and local food distributors bring it to food banks and soup kitchens (Interview, 2014).

Address: 1200 Florence Columbus Road, Bordentown, NJ 08505
Contact: Kristina Guttadora, Executive Director; 609-462-9691, farmersagainsthunger@gmail.com
Learn More: http://www.njagsociety.org/farmers-against-hunger.html

The NJ Farm to School Network is the state lead for the National Farm to School Network, a national organization that advocates for and forges stronger connections between local agriculture and schools. The organization also advocates for better school food, supports urban agriculture education in school gardens, and run workshops in local schools to teach children about local produce.

Address: 407 Greenwood Avenue, Trenton, NJ 08609
Contact: Beth Feehan, Director; beth@njfarmtoschool.org
Learn More: http://www.njfarmtoschool.org/

The Salvation Army provides food, by appointment, once a month and their pantry is open 3 days a week.

Address: 287 Handy Street, New Brunswick NJ 08901
Learn More: http://newjersey.salvationarmy.org/NewJersey/newbrunswick

Women Aware is Middlesex County’s top domestic violence agency dedicated to ending domestic violence in the lives of children, women, and men (Women Aware). Women Aware offers a variety of services for domestic violence survivors, including the Safe House which provides food along with other supportive services.

Address: 250 Livingston Avenue New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Phyllis Adams, Executive Director; 732-249-4900
Learn More: http://womenaware.net/

RU Community Service connects students with community service opportunities. Rutgers students support community organizations while they learn about the issues that affect New Brunswick residents, including food insecurity. RU Community Service matches student volunteers with the New Jersey Community Food Bank, Unity Square, Christ Church, Elijah’s Promise, Rutgers Against Hunger, Youth Empowerment Services, and the Franklin Township Food Bank. Other events include Start with Service to engage incoming students, Scarlet Day of service for current students, and hunger awareness week for everyone. Students can also participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) challenge in which they live on $4.50 a day for five days; the event concludes with a discussion on hunger and poverty.

Address: 613 George Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Karen Ardizzone, Associate Director of Community Service; kardizzo@rci.rutgers.edu
Learn More: http://communityservice.rutgers.edu/

4H New Brunswick is a youth development program that focuses on citizenship, healthy living, science, engineering, and technology. It offers nutrition classes at the Greater Brunswick Charter School, organizes a school garden at the Greater Brunswick Charter School, and offers a youth leadership development group called Green Titans Teens Council (Interview, 2014).

Address: 71 Lipman Drive, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Laura Eppinger; 848-932-3700, laura.eppinger@gmail.com
Learn More: http://nj4h.rutgers.edu/

The Collaborative Center for Community Based Research and Service engages Rutgers students in student learning projects through the Community Research Assistant, Community Development, Bonner, and Americorp programs. Students who participate in the Rutgers Bonner Leadership Program complete 300 hours of service with a community partner on food security, English language learning or mentoring programs. Students in the The Community Research Assistant Program work on community projects and earn three credits. Through the Advancing Community Development program, students work in yearlong project teams with a New Brunswick community partner and Johnson and Johnson mentor and earn 3 credits for each semester of participation. While the Community Research Assistant and Advancing Community Development programs do not focus only on food security, students often work on community food security projects (Interview, 2014).

Address: 640 Bartholomew Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Amy Michael, Senior Program Administrator; amymic@rci.rutgers.edu
Learn More: http://engage.rutgers.edu/

The Department of Family and Community Health Sciences (FCHS) is a nutrition and wellness outreach program that provides workshops and educational resources to community members. Educational program topics include the benefits of family dining, workplace wellness, health literacy, and physical activity.

Address: 88 Lipman Drive, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Kathleen T. Morgan, Department Chair; 848-932-3661, morgan@njaes.rutgers.edu
Learn More: http://njaes.rutgers.edu/fchs/

Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension runs the federal Expanded Food and Nutrition Program (EFNEP), which provides nutrition education to limited-resource families. EFNEP provides similar nutrition education programs to SNAP-Ed, conducted by peer educators in religious institutions and community centers (EFNEP website; Interview, 2014). The educational programs aim to increase knowledge about food safety and nutrition, improve food choices, and encourage meal and budget planning. The program is open to all limited-resource families.

Address: 11 Suydam Street, 2nd Floor, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Dr. Debra Palmer, Director; 732-932-9853, dpalmer@aesop.rutgers.edu
Learn More: http://njaes.rutgers.edu/efnep/

FoodCorps is an AmeriCorps program housed within Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension and the New Jersey Farm to School Network that assigns individuals to address food-related needs in the community. Currently, New Brunswick’s FoodCorps member works at the Jones Avenue Esperanza Community Garden, creates programs for the New Brunswick High School and the Greater Brunswick Charter School community gardens, and teaches a course titled “All about Food” at the Greater Brunswick Charter School (Interview, 2014).

Address: 178 Jones Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Thalya Reyes, FoodCorps Member; thalya.reyes@foodcorps.org
Learn More: https://foodcorps.org/

Johnson & Johnson and Rutgers University Cooperative Extension run the New Brunswick Community Farmers Market (NBCFM), a community farmers market that increases access to fresh healthy food and instills healthy eating habits. Nutrition interns and SNAP-Ed educators provide nutrition lessons and food purchasing tips. People who use federal nutrition assistance such as SNAP, WIC checks, and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers can receive an additional 50% more produce through the Market Bucks program. Those who spend $10 receive an extra $5 in Market Bucks, which extends their food budgets and encourages the purchase of fresh produce. The market also operates a community garden in which volunteers and residents plant produce for the community (NBCFM website; Bradshaw, 2013).

Address: Thursdays (11am – 3pm) and Saturdays (10am – 3pm) at 178 Jones Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901; Wednesdays (11am – 3pm) at 108 Albany Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901; June through November.
Contact: Sarah Dixon, Senior Program Coordinator; 848-932-3706, nbcfarmersmarket@gmail.com
Learn More: http://www.nbcfarmersmarket.com/

The New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health, which will open during the summer of 2015, will be an interdisciplinary space for research about food, nutrition, and health with the objective of stemming the childhood obesity epidemic. The institute’s facilities will include a healthy eating courtyard, a nutrition counseling center, a childhood learning and resource center, and research centers dedicated to studying physical activity, lipid metabolism, food policy and ethics, and student wellness.
Address: 63 Dudley Road, New Brunswick NJ 08901
Contact: Peter Gillies, IFNH Founding Director; 848-932-3500, director@ifnh.rutgers.edu
Learn More: http://ifnh.rutgers.edu/

SNAP-Ed is the educational branch of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the federal food stamp program. Its mission is to improve the food security of those receiving SNAP benefits by providing nutrition education. Though much of the nutrition education takes place in community centers and religious institutions, the recipes, cooking and exercise instructional videos, and shopping tips are available on the program’s website. Participants of SNAP-Ed’s nutrition education programs report consuming more fruit, reading nutrition labels more frequently, and running out of food at the end of the month less frequently (SNAP-Ed website; Interview, 2014).

Address: 11 Suydam Street, 2nd Floor, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Dr. Debra Palmer, Director; 732-932-9853, dpalmer@aesop.rutgers.edu
Learn More: http://www.snaped4me.org/, http://www.njsnap-ed.org/

Rutgers Against Hunger (RAH) and its student-led affiliate, Student-Organized Rutgers Against Hunger (SO RAH), alleviate hunger by collecting monetary and food donations and by providing volunteers. Since 2008, RAH and SO RAH have mobilized staff, faculty and students to collect more than 150,000 pounds of food and to raise more than $200,000 dollars. RAH’s Adopt-A- Family program engages Rutgers departments and staff who provide food and toiletries to New Brunswick families in need since 2009. RAH and SO-RAH engage the university community. For example, Rutgers Hillel worked with RAH in 2012 to donate 65 pounds of food to Your Grandmother’s Cupboard, an organization that fights hunger. SO-RAH’s student volunteers pack meals for Elijah’s Promise, glean produce at Giamarese Farm and hold fundraisers on campus (Rutgers Against Hunger website).

Contact: [RAH] Chris Rezko, Program Manager; 848-932-2458, retzko@oldqueens.rutgers.edu, [SO-RAH] studentorganizedrah@gmail.com
Learn More: [RAH] http://rah.rutgers.edu/, [SO-RAH] http://rah.rutgers.edu/so-rah/

Rutgers Gardens Farmers Market offers locally grown and made food such as poultry, meat, cheese, baked goods, pickles, fruit, and vegetables. The Farmers Market, a partnership of the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS) and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES), promotes recycling, conservation, and sustainable farming. The market is open Fridays 11am–5pm, May 2nd through November 28, 2014.

Address: 112 Ryders Lane, New Brunswick, NJ 08850
Contact Mary Ann Schrum, Manager Programs and Development; rlschrum@aesop.rutgers.edu
Learn More: http://www.rutgersgardens.rutgers.edu/farmmarket.htm

The Rutgers Nutritional Sciences Preschool is the only preschool dedicated to teaching children about nutrition in the country. The program, created in 1991, operates in collaboration with the Rutgers Nutritional Sciences Department and provides developmental and nutrition education to 3 and 4 year-old children and a research environment for Rutgers students and faculty. By providing students with healthy snacks and cooking activities, the Nutritional Sciences Preschool instills healthy eating habits in children (Interview, 2014; Rutgers Nutritional Sciences Preschool website).

Address: Davison Hall, 26 Nichol Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Mrs. Harriet Worobey, Director; 732-932-8895, harrietw@rci.rutgers.edu
Learn More: http://nutrition.rutgers.edu/presch/

Elijah’s Promise and the Ralph W. Voorhees Center partnered to enhance community food security and food-related community economic development. With a Rutgers University Community University Research Partnership grant, teams of students, faculty, community residents, city staff, and others visited urban agriculture and community food economy projects to inform urban agriculture and food economy projects in New Brunswick. During the summer of 2012, community university teams visited food hubs, urban farms, food business incubators, farm markets, and other innovative food-related community economic development projects in New York City and Philadelphia to gain inspiration for projects in New Jersey.
Address: 33 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Contact: Professor Kathe Newman; knewman@rutgers.edu
Learn More: policy.rutgers.edu/rwv