Food Bank of South Jersey Calls Summit to Address Rural Hunger in Salem County

SALEM COUNTY, NEW JERSEY – Rural hunger is a crisis impacting Salem County every day. In response, the Food Bank of South Jersey (FBSJ), in partnership with the Salem Health and Wellness Foundation, is inviting government agencies, fellow non-profit organizations and regional leaders to discuss the impact of rural hunger in Salem County and share insights, information and recommendations at an event termed by FBSJ – South Jersey Rural Hunger Summit – on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019 hosted at the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Salem County, 51 Cheney Road, Woodstown, NJ.

South Jersey Rural Hunger Summit
Presented by:
Food Bank of South Jersey,
in cooperation with
Salem Health and Wellness Foundation
Thursday, November 7, 2019 / 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Salem County
51 Cheney Road, Woodstown / Salem County, New Jersey

The one-day summit event is part of FBSJ’s larger initiative to bring awareness to rural hunger blight in South Jersey, seek sustainable solutions to the issues impacting food security and hunger relief efforts in Salem County and introduce strategies to enhance program resources in the region. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., including panel sessions discussing local, regional and state perspectives on rural hunger in South Jersey. With a focus on Salem County, the summit will shed light on statewide hunger-relief resources currently available and rural food insecurity perspectives as presented by Food Bank of South Jersey President & CEO Fred Wasiak and Adele LaTourette, Director of Hunger Free NJ. Additionally, the summit will consist of the following agenda highlights, with concentrated emphasis on the food availability blight suffered by Salem County.

  • Local Perspective: A Panel of Frontline Organizations in Salem County, will include insights and perspectives from leading experts of Salem County’s food insecurity crisis, including commentary by Brenda Goins, Executive Director, Salem Health & Wellness Foundation, Carly Melchert, Executive Director, Salem Meals on Wheels of Salem County, Cristina Chillem, Program Director, Catholic Charities and Alexandra DelCollo, Senior Program Coordinator, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Salem County.
  • State Regulatory Perspective: Perspective and recognition of Salem County’s rural hunger state by Douglas H, Fisher, Secretary, NJ Department of Agriculture, and Carole Johnson, Commissioner, NJ Department of Human Services. The discussion of state and federal resources will highlight opportunities for hunger relief support, as well as provide opportunities for discussion of additional services.

“Hunger in South Jersey’s rural counties, like Salem, continues to be one of the most underserved and least understood food insecurity issues in New Jersey. This event will be part of a larger initiative to seek sustainable solutions to the vexing issues that plague food security in our region,” reports Food Bank of South Jersey’s Wasiak. “In rural areas, like Salem County, food insecurity is linked to a wide range of negative health outcomes, as rural Americans are at higher risk for poor health than their urban counterparts – action must be taken to relieve food insecurity for our rural communities.”

In addition, Jeff VanDrew, U.S. House of Representatives, and Michael Thulen Jr., State Director, USDA Rural Development, will be in attendance.

For more information on the South Jersey Rural Hunger Summit, contact the Food Bank of South Jersey at 856-662-4884.

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. In 2018, FBSJ distributed 11 million pounds of food, including 75,000 after school snacks, 200,000 summer meals, 15,000 senior food boxes, as well as serving 95 health and wellness programs to more than 6,000 residents. Providing community impact through local support, FBSJ ensures that local donations stay local. FBSJ is a member of Feeding America, our nation’s largest hunger-relief organization. To learn more, visit