NEWS, SPORTS, COMMENTARY, POLITICS for Gloucester City and the Surrounding Areas of South Jersey and Philadelphia

Trash Pickup in Gloucester City Delayed
SEPTA to Stop Accepting Tokens Effective Jan. 1

More Than 801,000 New Jersey Residents Food Insecure  


“Report Should be Jarring Wake-Up Call for Our Leaders”

According to USDA food insecurity data - a way of measuring food hardship analyzed by Hunger Free America - across New Jersey, 9% of residents, or 801 thousand people, lived in food insecure households from 2020-2022. This includes 11.5% of children in the state (229,099), 7.2% of employed adults (312,719), and 7.10% of older New Jersey residents (151,729). 

Hunger Free America attributes the surge in food insecurity to the expiration of the expanded Child Tax Credit and universal school meals. Many federal benefit increases have either gone away entirely, or are being ramped down, even as prices for food, rent, healthcare, and fuel continue to soar. Said Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America, “Our report demonstrates child and adult hunger are serious problems in rural, urban, and suburban areas of all 50 states. This report should be a jarring wake up call for federal, state, and local leaders.”

This year, Hunger Free America also compiled the most recent nonparticipation rates for SNAP, WIC, and school breakfast programs by state. In New Jersey, 19% of individuals eligible for SNAP were not receiving SNAP in 2018. WIC had a higher rate of nonparticipation, with 50% of eligible individuals in the state not receiving WIC in 2021. School breakfast had the highest nonparticipation rate, with 52% of children who receive school lunch in New Jersey not receiving school breakfast during the 2021-2022 school year.

Continued Berg, “Effective federal public policies over the previous few years were spectacularly successful in stemming U.S. hunger, but as many of those policies have been reversed, hunger has again soared. At exactly the moment when so many Americans are in desperate need of relief, many of the federally funded benefits increases, such as the Child Tax Credit and universal school meals, have expired, due mostly to opposition from conservatives in Congress. Just as no one should be surprised if drought increases when water is taken away, no one should be shocked that when the government takes away food, as well as money to buy food, hunger rises. Our political leaders must act to raise wages and provide a strong safety net, so we can finally end U.S. hunger and ensure that all Americans have access to adequate, healthy food.” 

Other findings from the report:

●      15.8% of children in the U.S. lived in food insecure households in the 2020-2022 time period. The states with the highest rates of food insecure children were Delaware (21.4%), Nebraska (21.0%), Texas (20.7%), Georgia (20.0%), Kentucky (19.7%), and Louisiana (19.7%).

●      Nationally, 9.1% of employed adults in the U.S. lived in food insecure households during the three-year time period. The states with the highest rates of food insecurity among employed adults were Arkansas (13.7%), Texas (13.4%), Louisiana (12.5%), South Carolina (12.5%), and Oklahoma (12.4%).

●      In the U.S., 7.6% of older Americans, defined as people 60 years and older, lived in food insecure households. Louisiana had the highest rate of food insecurity among older Americans at 13.9%, followed by Mississippi (12.7%), District of Columbia (12.6%), West Virginia (11.0%), and Oklahoma (10.4%).

●      The states with the lowest rates of food insecurity were New Hampshire (6.1%), Minnesota (7.3%), Vermont (7.7%), Colorado (8.4%), and North Dakota (8.6%).

The report includes detailed public policy recommendations at the federal level, including passage of the HOPE Act of 2021, reauthorization of the Child Tax Credit, which raised millions of families out of poverty, and immediately fully funding the WIC program for pregnant women, infants, and children under five, including maintaining increased allotments for fruit and vegetable purchases.

The full report, “Hunger is Political Choice”, is available on Hunger Free America’s website: