Food Insecurity in New Jersey
Food insecurity is the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food and it is at an all-time high in New Jersey. Data from the 2009-2011 US Census shows that 12.3%, the equivalent of 391,986 households in New Jersey, were food insecure at some point during that period, a record high for the fifth consecutive year. Further, city-data.com reports that in 2009 the poverty rate in Jersey City was at 21.1%, nearly double the rate of poverty in New Jersey as a whole. One out of five people in Jersey City currently face or are threatened by food insecurity.
Unfortunately, food pantries, feeding programs and homeless shelters in Jersey City are few and unable to meet the needs of all of our city’s hungry.
"The breakfast program helps people like me-- people who don’t have enough, people who are on welfare, people who are homeless, people who can’t make ends meet. It supplements what we have and what we can do.
There are many people who don’t have enough food to eat,
and this program helps us -- helps our community."
- Michael, guest at GCS Breakfast Plus
Health Effects of Isolation on Seniors
New studies show that older people who are isolated
are at greater risk of developing serious illness and a reduced life span. According to the English Longitudinal Study of Aging, “There is growing evidence that both loneliness and social isolation are related
to biological processes that may increase health risks including changes in the immune and inflammatory processes
and disruption of the stress related hormones.”
Quite simply, if you’re older, being isolated is bad for your health.
“I am 91 ½, and do not want to stay home all day alone. The exercise is good to keep me going. Talking and interacting with other people will keep my brain active.”
- Marge Adams, Senior Center for Healthy Living Member
Grace Community Services feeds the bodies, hearts, and minds of elderly and food insecure people in Jersey City every day of the week.