Photo of a student looking at the skyline

Food Security in New Jersey

The Montclair State University Campus Community Garden, and its partner organizations, are working to better understand the nature of the need of students across New Jersey.

During the Summer of 2020, data from the varied authorities on food access and security were collected and analyzed, in order to build a comprehensive resource that depicts the combined sum of knowledge of student food security within the state of New Jersey. Data from the U.S. Census, USDA Food Environment Atlas, Feeding America’s Mapping the Meal Gap program, and the New Jersey Department of Education. A preliminary review during the Spring of 2020 suggested a nearly 10% rise in free lunches provided by K-12 schools since 2000, with some counties now exceeding one half of all enrolled students receiving a free lunch during the 2019 Academic Year, as reported by the New Jersey Department of Education. This steady rise of free lunch enrollment, a threshold that only households below 130% FPL are eligible for, served as an inspiration for this comprehensive inventory.

A Summary of Audit Findings mapped by county are Available Below

Full Statewide Audit Results