Hunger Doesn’t Take A Vacation

This summer free meals for children and teens are available under the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). The federally funded program ensures that low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. This summer, USDA plans to serve more than 200 million free meals to children 18 years and under at approved SFSP sites.

Last year, led by such groups as Advocates for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ) and the New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition, New Jersey witnessed a 21% increase in the number of local summer meal sites. This year efforts include working more closely with local sponsors to help them get the word out by distributing flyers, hosting kickoff events and working with school districts. Other organizations can aid program participation by distributing flyers in locations where children and families congregate, sending email alerts to their network and by posting information on social media. See the New Jersey specific toolkit.

Parents can find a local summer meal site for their children by any of the following methods:

Parents, schools, organizations and government agencies are encouraged to download and distribute poster #1 and poster #2.

For more information on child nutrition campaigns visit the New Jersey Food For Thought
Campaign
webpage.

Position Available – Director of Development & Community Outreach

Job Title: Director of Development and Community Outreach

Program: Membership Services, Fundraising, Volunteers, & Outreach

Position: Part-time/hourly to start with full-time potential
Must produce revenue goals for position to be sustained

Reports to: Executive Director

Date of Posting: August 5, 2014

Summary Description: This job exists to assist the Executive Director and to lead the organization’s fundraising, membership and outreach initiatives. Serves as a key staff member and fills in for Executive Director at events and appearances when she is not available.

Supervises: Membership Services, Farm & Food Guide Publication, Annual Campaign, Leadership Giving, Corporate Sponsorships, Media communications, Volunteers and Ambassador Program.

Principal Responsibilities: Effectively manage NOFA-NJ relationships while growing revenue through membership, sponsorship, individual donations and grant writing. While there are a variety of activities associated with this position, heavy emphasis is on managing the organization’s grant program.

Position Requirements: We are seeking an experienced development professional with excellent writing and communication skills and a proven track record in marketing and development for a non-profit organization. Candidate must have creative vision with the ability to strategize. Must be independently motivated, highly organized, and able to work in a team setting. Best applicant will possess strong writing, communication and interpersonal skills. Passion and understanding about organic food and farming a must. Bachelor’s degree strongly preferred. Some statewide car travel necessary. This position is at will and comes with the expectation that it exceeds revenue goals year over year.

For full position description and application instructions visit the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey (NOFA-NJ) career page.

Heat and Eat Program, Part II

A number of articles have appeared in the past few weeks and months, written by various advocacy groups on the ‘Heat and Eat’ issue. Together, they provide a compelling story about new, threatened safety net cuts for New Jersey families. Selected articles are:

The bill now awaits action by Governor Christie.

Heat and Eat: New Jersey Legislature Responds To Protect SNAP

A number of months ago it was disclosed that tens of thousands of seniors, disabled individuals, minor children and other low income New Jersey families again faced possible cuts in their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (previously known as food stamps). Yesterday, June 26, the New Jersey Legislature passed legislation to avoid the cuts by tailoring New Jersey policy to requirements spelled out in the federal Farm Bill passed by Congress and signed by the President earlier this year.

The legislation, A2956, sometimes referred to as the “Heat and Eat bill” passed both the Assembly and State Senate overwhelmingly. A reprint of the bill is available at http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2014/Bills/A3000/2956_R2.PDF. An independent evaluation of the legislation is also available online by the Office of Legislative Services. The bill now awaits action by Governor Christie.

Factory Farming And Public Health

Federal health officials yesterday released an alarming report about the threat posed by the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions’ findings, “Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections.” The alert is contained in the report, Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2013.

A few other aspects of the problem were cited in the report and in related news articles. For example:

  • 70% of the antibiotics sold by pharmaceutical companies in the United States go into livestock production (animal feed for hogs, poultry, cattle, etc.)
  • The amount of antibiotics fed to healthy animals is eight times greater than the amount given to sick people, based on a 2001 2001 Scientific American article, “Most U.S. Antibiotics Fed to Healthy Livestock”
  • Agribusiness is reluctant to allow scientific studies of their factory farming practices as it relates to the antibiotic-resistance health threat

In lieu of being exposed to antibiotic laced meat or poultry consider purchasing organically raised meat or produce which do not contain unnecessary drugs.

The full CDC report is available online at http://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/threat-report-2013/pdf/ar-threats-2013-508.pdf.