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For Immediate Release: November 9, 2016
Nancy Wood 609-292-8896                         

Funds to Help Feed Individuals and Families in Need

(TRENTON) – New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher today announced that the New Jersey Agricultural Society, Foodshed Alliance and Senior Thrift & Craft Center Inc. will share a $100,000 Gleaning Support Grant, made possible through the Department of Agriculture’s State Food Purchase Program. 

“New Jersey has extremely generous farmers who regularly give back to their communities by allowing organizations to pick and collect surplus produce that might have gone to waste and in turn donate the produce to emergency feeding agencies,” said Secretary Fisher. “This funding will go a long way to helping these three gleaning organizations continue to collect and distribute this healthy food to those who need it the most.”

The Department of Agriculture provides Gleaning Support Grants to eligible non-profit entities that are gleaning from New Jersey farms and distributing gleaned food to New Jersey organizations to help feed the state’s hungry.

The Farmers Against Hunger program will receive a $71,776 grant and is dedicated to collecting fresh fruits and vegetables from farms, farm markets, wholesalers and food distributors and distributing it to 70 agencies throughout the state. Started in 1996 by a few area farmers, the program now includes more than 60 farmers.

Receiving a $15,624 grant was the Foodshed Alliance in Blairstown, which operates LocalShare, a program that connects food pantries and local farms so that crops left after the harvest that might otherwise go to waste feed hungry families instead. They utilize volunteers to help with gleanings and deliver to food pantries. The organization works with dozens of emergency feeding organizations throughout northern New Jersey.

Senior Thrift & Craft Center Inc., serving Cumberland County, was awarded a $12,600 grant. Their gleaning program distributes more than 100,000 pounds a year of surplus produce and food products to churches and other food pantries.

Gleaning Support Program grants must be used by the gleaning organizations for collection, distribution and administrative costs.  The groups must distribute the gleaned New Jersey grown produce or non-farm nutrient dense rescued food gleaned from non-farm sources only to New Jersey residents.

The funding for the grants comes from the State Food Purchase Program, for which Governor Christie allocated $6.8 million dollar this year to be distributed quarterly to the state’s six food banks to purchase healthy food, with a high priority on buying locally grown produce from New Jersey farmers.