J Steinhauer, Manager of Development and Community Relations
72 ½ Escher Street, Trenton, NJ 08609
(609) 695-5456 Ext. 108
RELEASE DATE: 9/6/2019
TRENTON – The Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) will partner with the city mayor’s office in proclaiming Thursday, September 12, Hunger Action Day – Trenton’s official tribute to Hunger Action Month, a national awareness campaign that spotlights hunger and food insecurity in the U.S. The event will be held in TASK’s Dining Hall located at 72 ½ Escher Street, Trenton NJ 08609. The program will begin promptly at 11am.
Crafted by Feeding America, the largest U.S. hunger-relief, advocacy and education organization, Hunger Action Month is dedicated to encouraging citizens to effectively implement ways to alleviate and eventually end hunger and food insecurity. While TASK works year-round to make everyone aware of this ever-increasing problem, we take additional steps in September – Hunger Action Month – to spread the word and encourage people to affect change in their own communities.
The battle to ensure that people don’t go hungry is a year-round endeavor,” said TASK Executive Director Joyce E. Campbell. “In September, however, TASK and others dedicated to alleviating hunger and food insecurity make additional efforts to raise awareness about the millions of Americans who don’t know where they will find their next meal. This proclamation will help us spread the word about the people suffering right here in our backyard.”
The proclamation will be presented to Campbell by Shakira Abdul-Ali, the city’s director for the Department of Health and Human Services who will then join TASK volunteers as they serve lunch to patrons.
Along with the proclamation, TASK has laid down a challenge to everyone to get involved on variety of levels with the our “30 Ways in 30 Days Hunger Action Challenge.” This 30-day calendar lays out daily steps anyone can take to fight hunger right in their backyard and includes everything from simply posting the calendar on the refrigerator to setting up a fund-raiser for TASK on Face Book.
Part of raising awareness about hunger and food insecurity is education. Here are some facts about the matter:
- Did you know that hunger and food insecurity are not the same thing?
Often, many people use the terms hunger and food insecurity interchangeably however, according the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) there is a clear and separate distinction. For example, nearly 40,000 people in Mercer County live with hunger and/or food insecurity. That means while some county residents chronically experience the pangs of hunger – “an individual-level physiological condition that may result from food insecurity;” they could simultaneously meet the federal definition of being food insecure – “a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food.” (USDA).
- City residents are among the 23. 5 million Americans living in what the USDA calls a food desert – an urban, low-income area where most residents live more than a mile from the fresh produce and the healthier foods major supermarkets supply.
- Trenton is a food swamp – a place where fast food, junk food outlets, convenience stores, and liquor stores outnumbers healthy food options, according to the USDA.
- 4 percent of Trenton’s food assets (various food markets) offer healthy food. Assets rise to 8 and 10 percent in New Jersey and the U.S., respectively according to a joint New York University and Rutgers University study.
- In Mercer County, there is one supermarket for every 11,450 residents and a grocery store or supermarket for every 14,500 residents. In Trenton, by contrast, one supermarket serves 84,500 people, while the supermarket and two grocery stores together serve 28,150 people apiece according to a joint New York University and Rutgers University study.
- The obesity rate in Trenton is 39 percent, and 16 percent suffer from diabetes.
- The city’s children have some of the highest rates in the country. Nearly 1 in 2 Trenton schoolchildren in every age category is overweight or obese. The highest numbers are among the city’s 3-5-year-olds with 49 percent who are overweight or obese; nationally that number is only 21 percent, according to a recent joint New York University and Rutgers University study.
TASK is a 501 (c) (3) private, nonprofit, non-sectarian organization that has served over four million meals in its 38-year-old history. We are committed to providing meals and the tools to help move our patrons toward self-sufficiency. TASK serves more than 4,000 meals per week and is the only organization that combines weekday meal service with social services and self-improvement program in Mercer County. In addition to meal service at our Trenton headquarters, we partner with 14 community agencies to serve off-site meals throughout the city and surrounding suburbs. We also provide self-sufficiency programs such as our Adult Education Work Preparedness Program which helps patrons prepare for the high school equivalency exam and our SHARE Program which allows patrons to explore their talents in art, writing and music.
Check us out on: @TASKSoupKitchen