NJFSI Awards Grant to HFNJ to Advance Health Equity

WASHINGTON, May 23, 2024 — The New Jersey Food Security Initiative (NJFSI), a collaboration of community organizations and local and state agencies led by the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, today announced it has awarded a $198,612 grant to Hunger Free New Jersey (HFNJ) to bolster food security and improve nutrition to advance health equity across the state.

In alignment with the overarching goals of NJFSI, Hunger Free New Jersey will utilize this grant to connect more New Jersey families with federal nutrition programs. This includes:

  • improving access to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits for New Jersey families;
  • developing and executing a statewide school meals application outreach and education campaign with the goal to increase return rates on school meals applications by 10 percent–15 percent statewide;
  • identifying barriers hindering participation in afterschool meal programs and the Child and Adult Care Food Program; and
  • launching a comprehensive statewide Summer EBT outreach campaign in partnership with New Jersey Office of the Food Security Advocate, which aims to increase application returns by 10 percent over the course of the grant period and identify the maximum amount of children eligible for Summer EBT.

“This award represents a crucial step forward in our collective efforts to combat food insecurity and advance health equity in New Jersey,” said Kelly Horton, interim president of FRAC. “On behalf of NJFSI, we are proud to partner with HFNJ to increase food access for all.”

HFNJ, an initiative of the Center for Food Action, is dedicated to educating both the public and decision-makers about hunger, including its causes and its solutions. HFNJ mobilizes diverse organizations, advocating for sweeping changes aimed at ensuring that every single New Jersey resident has healthy food to eat daily.

“This funding provides an incredible opportunity to further our progress in advancing food security in New Jersey,” said Lisa Pitz, director of HFNJ. “Hunger Free New Jersey thanks NJFSI and FRAC for their continued support and partnership in this critical work.”

For more information about the grant project, visit NJFSI.org.

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