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HUNGER RELIEF MONEY TO SUPPORT GROUPS THAT PROVIDE FRESH PRODUCE TO THOSE IN NEED
Program To Help Increase Nutritious Food To The Hungry Of New JerseyFor Immediate Release: December 5, 2007
Contact: Lynne Richmond
(TRENTON) – The New Jersey Department of Agriculture is accepting grant applications from non-profit gleaning programs in the state that redirect surplus food items donated by local farms to feed the hungry.
The total funding for the 2008 grant program -- $100,000 -- is being made available through the State Food Purchase Program (SFPP).
“The cornerstone of the State Food Purchase Program is the integration of fresh fruits and vegetables into food programs for our neediest citizens, who frequently do not consume enough of these healthy products,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Charles M. Kuperus. “Providing funding for gleaning operations that put fresh produce on the tables of New Jersey citizens complements and builds upon the program we already have in place.”
Under this grant program, gleaning organizations can request funding for expenses directly related to the collection and distribution of locally grown produce, including transportation and salary costs. Proposals will be accepted from established entities which have operated a food rescue/gleaning program for a minimum of two years and are currently working with New Jersey farms by collecting surplus, locally grown products and distributing them to food pantries, shelters and kitchens in the state. The entity’s program must have a component that educates recipients on the value of nutrition which includes a diet of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Feeding the hungry of the state has been a priority of Governor Jon S. Corzine and the Department of Agriculture. In 2006, the Governor and Legislature approved $3 million in funding to feed more of New Jersey’s neediest residents and $1 million for infrastructure improvements for feeding organizations in the state.
The State Food Purchase Program was formed to ensure the funds from Governor Corzine’s Hunger Initiative provided direct relief to the state’s hungry. In its first year, the program resulted in the purchase of 3.9 million pounds of nutritious foods, which helped feed an extra 69,110 people each month.
This year, the Governor and Legislature allocated $4 million for the State Food Purchase Program, again with a focus on buying locally produced nutritious foods. To that end, a pilot program was incorporated from July through November to purchase wholesale, fresh fruits and vegetables directly from New Jersey farmers via farmers’ co-op markets using SFPP funds.
“Gleaning programs are an integral partner in the Governor’s Hunger Initiative,” said Secretary Kuperus. “We have been working for the last several months on this grant program to increase the amount of fresh produce available for the hungry of New Jersey over and above the more than a million pounds already gleaned annually.”
Grant requests must include detailed costs associated with the program which collects gleaned food from New Jersey farms. Interested parties must submit proposals no later than December 15, 2007 to:
New Jersey Department of Agriculture
Emma Davis-Kovacs, Director
Division of Food and Nutrition
Trenton, NJ 08625-0334