The Passaic County Food Policy Council is excited to work with partners from across the county to ensure that hard-to-count populations are represented in the 2020 Census. New Jersey receives more than $17.5 billion dollars annually from the federal government based in large part on the Census. This federal funding supports a wide variety of initiatives but specifically food access programs including:
• The School Breakfast Program and the National School Lunch Program
• Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
• Child and Adult Food Program
• The Older Americans Act Nutrition Program, in addition to Title III, and Nutrition Services
We learned from Patricia D. Williamson, NJ Counts Project Director at the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, that almost a quarter of New Jersey’s population lives in areas considered “hard to count” by the Census Bureau. Certain populations, including people of color, low-income individuals, young children, immigrants, and people who are homeless, are most likely to go uncounted. These same populations often have the highest poverty rates and are the most in need of essential services. Without special, targeted outreach efforts, millions of New Jersey residents may go uncounted in 2020.
The Passaic County Food Policy Council members are working with our local Complete Count Committees such as Paterson Counts 2020 and Passaic County Complete Count. We are also excited to start a Complete Count Committee with one of our members in Clifton, St. Peter’s Haven. Our members are tireless advocates and wholeheartedly believe that everybody counts!
For more information about opportunities to partner in ensuring a fair and accurate 2020 Census count, please contact Mary Celis, Director of Health Initiatives, United Way of Passaic County or visit our Facebook page: @PassaicFood.
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