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Food Bank of South Jersey

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Food Bank South Jersey Partners with Feeding America in Largest Hunger Study in the Country

Pennsauken, NJ, June 15, 2013 --( In an effort to determine demographic profiles of emergency food clients in South Jersey, the Food Bank of South Jersey (FBSJ) in conjunction with Feeding America is participating in the largest study of charitable food assistance in America.

Known as Hunger in America, this study has been conducted every four years since 1993 and uses methods unlike any other hunger-focused study to collect data. In 2010 Hunger in America conducted more than 61,000 face to face family interviews and more than 37,000 surveys of local charitable agencies like kitchens, food pantries and shelters, to capture detailed information about who was in need of emergency food assistance and what their circumstances were. This sixth study in addition to data obtained in past surveys will also feature a greater focus on nutrition programs and practices at the local level and improved support for foreign language survey translations.

Data from Hunger in America will be used by local food networks like the Food Bank of South Jersey to advocate for public policies that support hunger-relief and to provide the local population facts that are the basis for donor requests.

Key findings from the 2010 Hunger in America study were that nationwide nearly 14 million children and 3 million senior comprised nearly half of the 37 million Americans served by food assistance networks. And among those 37 million people, 70% of the households had incomes below the federal poverty level even though 36 percent of those households had one or more working adults. These startling statistics were the basis for documentation that secured reimbursement of over $113,000,000 in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds.

On a local level, this data is critical as New Jersey’s and particularly South Jersey’s economic recovery lags far behind that of the rest of the nation. According to FBSJ’s CEO Val Traore, “It is important to not only know the profiles of emergency food families but to understand their individual circumstances and understand how these circumstances resulted in the need for emergency food programs. And, we need to gain insight into how emergency food families cope with the trauma of food insecurity on a daily basis.”

Dovetailing into this need and the data that will come from the current Hunger in America study will be support for Healthy Living Initiatives (HLI), one of Food Bank South Jersey’s fastest growing programs. HLI was created by FBSJ to educate families on how to prepare tasty nutrient dense meals and healthy snacks with low income food and features hands-on participatory classes and cooking demonstrations.

“Having this data will help generate the fiscal support and donor funding that will enable us to expand this program in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem counties,” recounts Raquel Moreno who heads up the program for FBSJ.

About the Food Bank of South Jersey
The Food Bank of South Jersey (FBSJ) is the leader in providing safe and nutritional food to people in need throughout South Jersey. FBSJ distributes food, provides nutrition education and cooking courses, and helps food insecure families and seniors find sustainable ways to improve their lives. To learn more visit

Contact Pam Pernot, (856) 662-4884 ext. 133
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Food Bank of South Jersey
Pam Pernot

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