JFCS Takes Action to Fight Hunger!

September is Hunger Action Month and team JFCS continues our dedication to serving those in our community facing hunger and food insecurity.

Why do we need to act? 

Hunger affects our neighbors, right here in Mercer County. The food insecurity rate for Mercer ranks among the top 10 in our state with tens of thousands of residents facing this burden.  On average in New Jersey, 1 in 8 families live with the reality of hunger.

In Mercer County, our changing demographics see a growing aging population among our community.  Seniors are often more vulnerable to food insecurity and hunger due to limited income and restricted access to healthy foods. According to the National Council on Aging, nearly 9 million older adults feel they cannot afford nutritious food and 25% reduce meal sizes or skip meals to make their supplies last.

Hunger is here, in our backyard.

Who is hungry?

In the past year, JFCS has served over 300 individuals through the Yvette Sarah Clayman Kosher Food Pantry.  Our clients include individuals like…

Naomi, a single mother of two who was unexpectedly laid off, relies on the pantry to feed her young children.  With savings quickly going towards rent and everyday expenses, the pantry allows her to keep food on the table while searching for a new job.

Ed, who is 70 years old and lives alone with no family in the area, turns to the food pantry for nutritional options.  As a senior, Ed faces dietary restrictions due to regular medications he must take. Our pantry gives him the healthy options and nutritious foods he needs.

Mark & Lauren, a couple in their mid-40s, who have had to take in Lauren’s sister and nephews when her sister became too ill to care for the children alone, are struggling to feed everyone under their roof.  With three teenagers of their own, one who is gluten-intolerant, keeping nutritious meals on the table was already a challenge.  With three more individuals to feed and Lauren reducing her work hours to help care for her sister, the couple depends on the resources at our pantry to sustain their family.

How do we help?

JFCS continues to keep the shelves of our pantry stocked and develop innovative services & programs to serve our unique community best…

Such as the personalized case management with staff working with clients to develop budgeting skills and increase knowledge of available resources such as SNAP and other benefits.

Or the benefit of a registered dietitian on-site, working with each pantry patron to ensure individual nutritional needs are met.

And innovative programming including Healthy@Home, which coordinates the services of the pantry registered dietitian and senior care managers to combine nutrition education and delivery of healthy and nutritious foods to low-income, homebound older adults.

And with the help of YOU.

Dedicated volunteers and corporate groups shop for and stock our pantry monthly.

Generous donors contribute dollars & goods so our pantry can stay open.

We cannot fight hunger without you.

Make a contribution online: www.jfcsonline.org/donate or call us to find out how you can volunteer your time at the pantry: 609-987-8100.

References:

https://tabletotable.org/feeding-nj/

http://www.endhungernj.org/about-nj-hunger

http://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/our-research/map-the-meal-gap/2014/NJ_AllCounties_CDs_MMG_2014.pdf

A Light in the Darkness

“Why?”

“How?”

“What now?”

In recent years, we have asked these questions all too often.

Intolerance claimed another life Saturday – that of a 32-year-old woman who was on a street in Charlottesville, Va. taking a stand against hate.

We cannot always reason the “why” or the “how” in the wake of tragedy, but we can always determine the “what now.”

Now, we stand up and show unity with those who protest racism.

Now, we deny hatred and fear and embrace kindness and understanding.

Now, we recognize that the differences amongst us do not need to divide.

Now, we re-affirm the beliefs, values & traditions that have always guided us.

We treat every individual with dignity and respect, no matter their creed, their background, or their beliefs.

We remind ourselves and our children of tikkun olam which is our obligation to repair the world.

We become the light in the darkness.

New Beginnings….

michellenapellfeature

And suddenly it is time to start something new… let’s trust the magic of beginnings and make today and the days to come here at JFCS something special.   I want to thank you all for trusting me to continue Linda’s legacy of providing the Community with the care, compassion and knowledge that they have grown to expect from JFCS.

JFCS has been helping the families of the Greater Mercer County for the past 80 years and with the passage of time, new demands and needs have developed while others stay constant.  JFCS has continued to be dedicated to strengthening the families and individuals by being the place to turn to when unexpected challenges arise.  I truly believe that my passion and experience, coupled with the incredible Board, volunteers and staff, will help continue this tradition for years to come.

 I look forward to meeting everyone and working together.

 Wishing you all a fun and safe 4th of July weekend.