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State of New Jersey Deapartment of Human Services  
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There are resources for the food insecure
An estimated 1.5 million New Jersey residents either can’t afford or don’t have consistent access to food. Nearly half of them are children. A lack of food can impair productivity, health and wellness in people of all ages.In New Jersey, we’re committed to combating hunger through a variety of state programs. Three state agencies’ missions include supporting efforts to reduce hunger in New Jersey, including the departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services. State programs such as Emergency Food Assistance, Free and Reduced School Lunch, Farm to School, Women Infants and Children and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance help ease the challenges of individuals and families who are food insecure.

 The state also works closely with New Jersey’s emergency food providers, such as the food banks, food pantries, soup kitchens and other social service organizations, to provide food resources to residents.

September is Hunger Action Month. If you or someone you know is food insecure, go to for information on where to access a local food pantry. To screen for or apply for NJ SNAP (food assistance) benefits, go to

Last year, more than 60 million pounds of emergency food was distributed to individuals and families in need. There’s no reason to go to bed hungry.

-- Jeanette Page-Hawkins,
The writer is director of the Division of Family Development within the New Jersey Department of Human Services and the commissioner’s designee on the New Jersey Hunger Prevention Advisory Committee.

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