(TRENTON) – Speaker Craig Coughlin today announced the introduction of an anti-hunger bill package which addresses food insecurity and tackles the issue of hunger in New Jersey. The bills specifically address the reduction of food waste and food deserts, helping farmers, the provision of resources and information to the general public and food insecurity among students enrolled in public institutions.
“Too many residents in the state of New Jersey go to bed without a meal every night – 1 out of every eight residents to be exact,” said Speaker Coughlin. “No family should have to choose between paying their bills and eating a nutritious meal. The bills introduced will help steer us in the direction of reducing food waste, donating food to markets in need and combating food insecurity.”
“Over 800,000 of our New Jersey neighbors struggle to consistently put nutritious food on the table, and the number will only grow unless we take coordinated action,” said Carlos M. Rodriguez, President and CEO of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. “I applaud Assembly Speaker Coughlin for his partnership and leadership on this issue and the legislation introduced that provides support and resources to those in need. These proposals demonstrate the critical role – and the potential – of policy to address food insecurity, and I look forward to working closely with our government, nonprofit and private sector partners to increase access to healthy food and close the hunger gap in New Jersey.”
“We applaud Assembly Speaker Coughlin’s leadership in ending hunger in New Jersey and thank the bills’ sponsors for making hunger a top priority,’’ said Adele LaTourette, director, Hunger Free New Jersey. “This package of bills is one of the most comprehensive ever introduced and has the potential to significantly reduce hunger in New Jersey. We’re especially excited about addressing college hunger through the Hunger Free Campus Act. We look forward to working with state lawmakers to make these measures a reality.”
The bills will be heard in the Assembly Human Services Committee on November 29, 2018.
Below is the list of bills to be considered along with sponsors of the legislation.
Anti-Hunger Bill Package
• AJR-172 (Downey/Johnson/Holley) Designates Thursday of the third week of September of each year as “Food Waste Prevention Day” in New Jersey.
• AJR-174 (Mejia/Benson) Urges large food retailers in State to reduce food waste.
• A-4705 (Carter/Benson/Mejia) Establishes New Jersey Food Waste Task Force to make recommendations concerning food waste in New Jersey.
• A-4707 (Tucker/Downey/Calabrese) Directs Dept. of Agriculture to establish public awareness campaign for food waste.
• A-4708 (Houghtaling/Land) Establishes Farm Liaison in Department of Agriculture.
• A-4704 (Taliaferro/Murphy/Verrelli) Directs Department of Agriculture to establish food desert produce pilot program.
• ACR-204 (Reynolds-Jackson/DeAngelo) Urges New Jersey Judiciary to promote public awareness campaign for food growers to register as placement worksites for community service programs.
• A-4701 (Spearman/Chiaravalloti/Mukherji) Requires DHS to establish electronic portal to promote surplus food donation collaboration among nonprofit organizations, gleaners, and food retailers.
• A-4706 (Lampitt/Pintor Marin) Transfers authority over special nutrition programs from DOH to DHS.
• A-4703 (Lopez/Holley/Kennedy) Requires Chief Technology Officer to establish “Anti-Hunger Link” for all State websites, providing information on emergency food services.
• AJR-175 (Chiaravalloti/Spearman/Mosquera) Urges Chief Innovation Officer to prioritize enhancement of NJOneApp to include all State anti-hunger programs.
• A-4702 (Wimberly/Jasey/Mukherji) “Hunger-Free Campus Act”; requires Secretary of Higher Education to establish grant program to address food insecurity among students enrolled in public institutions of higher education; appropriates $1 million.
• A-4700 (Coughlin/Egan Jones/Mukherji) “Food Desert Elimination Act”; provides incentives to supermarkets and grocery stores that locate in “food deserts.”
• AJR-60 (DeAngelo) Designates November of each year as “Food Pantry Donation Month” in New Jersey.