Federal nutrition programs provide much-needed assistance to people struggling to put food on the table.
But in New Jersey, like many states, these programs are underutilized, partly because people either do not know they exist or they think they do not qualify because they work.
To help increase awareness and reach of these programs – which provide food aid for everyone from infants to older adults – Hunger Free New Jersey has launched a new campaign called Hungry? Get Help. The statewide non-profit organization created a web page with information and links to key federal nutrition programs, including:
- SNAP (aka food stamps)
- WIC (For pregnant women and young children)
- School Meals
- Afterschool Meals
- Summer Meals
- Food for Children in Child Care
- Meals for Seniors
“We really need to get the word out that these programs are available,’’ said Adele LaTourette, director, Hunger Free New Jersey. “A lot of people think that because they work they do not qualify for SNAP or other assistance and that’s not true. It depends on household income. Plus, some child nutrition programs are available to all children, regardless of a family’s income, if they live in areas that can serve free meals to all children.’’
Hunger Free New Jersey will be distributing messages via its website, e-news and social media and is calling on its many partners to do the same. The organization has created a flyer and graphic that can be downloaded and shared.
“We are asking for everyone’s help to spread the word about these important nutrition programs,’’ LaTourette said. “If everyone who qualifies participates, we will be able to make a huge dent in hunger in New Jersey.’’