If you are like many of us, you might feel like you don’t know what to do when it comes to helping your neighbor. We all know that there are many children and families and seniors in Greater Paterson that go to bed hungry or without nutritious food in their stomach every night. But how can I help? What can I do? The information on this page might be a first step in helping you think through what you and your family can do to address Hunger and Food Insecurity. We have broken it out into Three Simple Action Steps:
A first step in helping our neighbor who might be struggling with Food Insecurity or Hunger is to learn more about the problem. For your information, I have listed a few websites that you can visit. Take some time to read about and familiarize yourself with the issue.
FOOD INSECURITY AND HUNGER DEFINED
is defined as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members and limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods. Food insecure homes may reflect a household’s need to make trade off’s between important basic needs, such as housing or medical bills, and purchasing nutritionally adequate foods
is defined as “a potential consequence of food insecurity that, because of prolonged, involuntary lack of food, results in discomfort, illness, weakness, or pain that goes beyond the usual uneasy sensation.” (USDA, 2018)
Here are some stats about hunger and food insecurity in our area:
– According to a 2018 report, more than 41 million Americans struggle with hunger.*
– One in seven Americans now rely on food pantries and meal service programs.**
– The NJ Food Insecurity rate is 13% with 1,141,890 people being food insecure***
– One in four NJ residents struggle to meet their basic needs, which often forces a choice between food and other essential costs (rent, medication, etc.)****
– Passaic County NJ has 48,880 food insecure individuals.*****
The need is real, and there are many opportunities to serve our neighbors in the name of Jesus Christ. However, in our desire to help those in need, we need to be sure that we help in such a way that preserves the dignity of the individual, and also connects them with a local church community. One of the most helpful ways to reach out to our neighbors is by simply being a friend. Below are some valuable links to learn more about ways to effectively reach those in need in your community.
How to Serve the Poor – When Helping Hurts Video Link
How Star of Hope Addresses FOOD Insecurity – www.sohm.org/ meeting basic needs.
It’s all about Relationship – A Friend of the Poor Link
After you have familiarized yourself with Hunger and Food Insecurity in Greater Paterson, consider sharing with others what you learned. How about using your Facebook page to share some of the Educate Food links above? Or consider speaking to your church or your Pastor about doing a seminar about Poverty and Hunger in New Jersey?
There are a number of ways that you and your family can contribute to Star of Hope to address Food Insecurity in Paterson. Consider the following opportunities:
1. Help Star of Hope provide 3-Day FOOD Packages weekly to help our neighbors. To make a monetary donation, please click here.
2. If you would like to donate food, please click here for a suggested list of food for Star of Hope’s 3-day FOOD packages. Please contact Star of Hope first if you would like to drop food off at our Paterson Headquarters, 973-742-1222 ext. 21, email email@example.com.
3. If you would like to organize a food drive in your church school or business, we have collection bins ready that we can deliver to you and pick up after the drive. Please request information by emailing us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
HELPFUL WEBSITES ABOUT HUNGER IN PASSAIC COUNTY,
NEW JERSEY AND AMERICA:
• Feeding America
• End Hunger NJ
• FRAC Food Research & Action Center
• Living Low-Income in America