GROWING HEALTHY PANTRIES ACROSS NEW JERSEY
More than 800,000 New Jerseyans, including nearly 200,000 children, are food insecure and lack consistent access to nutritious foods and other necessities for living healthy lives.
To promote greater health equity in our state, NJ’s five food banks, with the support of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and Feeding America, have created Growing Healthy Pantries, a signature collaboration aimed at achieving food security and promoting healthy food choices by establishing the first statewide healthy choice pantry model.
The first phase of this 18-month pilot initiative is almost complete and focused on the development of a toolkit to provide local pantries with the knowledge, resources, and framework to develop nutrition policy, increase healthy food options, and provide essential wrap-around services that address the factors that lead to individuals and families experiencing food insecurity.
We know from research that people living in food-insecure households face barriers to the consistent adoption of healthy eating patterns. New Jersey’s food banks are in a unique position to address the link between food insecurity and health. Therefore, Growing Healthy Pantries goes beyond building nutrition awareness by empowering our neighbors to create positive outcomes and healthier tomorrows.