Friday, March 14, 2014

What are local organizations doing for you, nutritionally?

For National Nutrition Month here at City Green we are going to be focusing on nutrition and how it relates to you and your community. One of the most important parts of the community is understanding how local organizations are working to aid in ending nutrition inequality, hunger, and increasing food access to those around you. After doing some digging I was able to find a bunch of organizations that are close to home and are working hard to resolve these important issues. A few of the most recognized ones are listed below, take some time to read about their story and maybe you’ll be able to benefit from or help them continue it.

The United Passaic Organization is located in Passaic and serves to enhance the quality of life for the people of Passaic. The organization has many programs, each aimed at helping the people in the community. UPO offers,emergency food and temporary shelter programs. They also have homelessness prevention, utility and weatherization assistance, job training, case management, community organization, early intervention for at-risk youngsters in terms of mentoring and academic assistance and community wide health related initiatives.

St. Paul’s Community Development Corporation is located in Paterson and has been running for almost 25 years. They work to serve the community with what it needs. Currently they offer a food pantry accompanied with an Emergency Men’s Shelter, Next Step and several other programs. The organization started off as an outreach from St. Paul's Episcopal Church. Since then that have grown to serve the population of Paterson with purpose to alleviate the conditions of hunger, homelessness, unemployment, poverty, and illiteracy. Together these issues need to be resolved to end the cycle of hunger and St. Paul’s is doing a great job trying to end it! Follow them on Facebook to see what they are up to @stpaulscdcnj

The Hispanic Multi-Purpose Service Center is located in Paterson and is a community based and community operated facility that provides free social and educational services to the people of Paterson. They host a wide range of programs including a food pantry which distributes a bag of donated goods to families facing hunger. Their pantry is open three days a week and they work very hard to ensure that they can help feed suffering families. Alongside the pantry they also have a clothing distribution that is also free and available three times a week. The center has been running for over 35 years and they are only getting started! See what they are up to @HMPSC

The New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition, NJAHC is an organization whose goal is to end hunger in New Jersey through education, advocacy and activism. They do this by providing assistance to food pantries, soup kitchens, and emergency food providers throughout the state. They also educate about public and private policies, working to increase poor people’s access to adequate food for healthy living. They work best to connect people to food as well as informing people about the happening of policies that impact them and their ability to live. The organization is up to date on all current issues that address nutrition inequality, they encourage visitors to get active on a congressional level. Currently they have a petition up fighting against the SNAP cuts. If you have some time to sign the petition here is the link. To keep up with their news and updates follow them on Twitter @NJAHC1.

The Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey, APN is an organization focused on ending poverty through means of housing, economic empowerment, and most importantly hunger. It is estimated that more than a million New Jerseyans lack food security that’s approximately an eighth of the population! Of these million, almost half are children.  APN works on raising awareness and gaining support for SNAP, School Programs, and Food Pantries. They are advocating for expanded access to SNAP as well as the expansion of the School Breakfast program.  Follow them on Twitter to see an up to date list of how you can get involved! @anti_poverty_nj

Center of United Methodist Aid to the Community, CUMAC aims to feed people and change lives. They do this primarily by being the biggest pantry in Passaic county. Most of their food gets donated throughout the year they have several fundraisers to help fund their programming and staff to run the pantry. In the past year they were able to feed over 34,000 people. CUMAC does a lot to help alleviate hunger problems in their area and each year they grow in awareness and need. While they wish to decrease the amount of people needing them they know that working together with people like you will assist them in meeting demands and gaining awareness of hunger and food security. To find out how you can get involved check out their website, it’s filled with an extensive list of events, also follow them on twitter @CUMACfeeds.  

The Community Food Bank of New Jersey works similar to NJHAC, they work to end hunger in New Jersey through engaging, educating, and empowering all sectors of society. They aim to fill emptiness with food, help, and hope. To do this they offer several programs that supply food to those that need it. these programs include the Backpack program, Community Kitchen, Kids Cafe, Mobile Pantry, and Emergency Assistance Pantry. These programs all aim to fill people with hope while simultaneously filling their bellies. Make sure to visit their website to find out more information about their programs and how you can put them to use.  Alongside their programs they also have an extensive database of organizations that offer food for those that are food insecure. Follow them on Twitter to see what they are doing for you on the go @CFBNJ.

As you can see there’s a lot going on in the world around us and we are not alone. There are a lot of people volunteering their time, love, and passion. They are all working toward the same goals, ending hunger and educating others of the impact hunger has on people. Nutrition should be a right to us all, and with the help of these organizations and the many others like it, it just might become one. #nutritionforall  


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