NJ 2-1-1 Provides Help to Those Who Are Hungry Find Food Resources and Practical Help

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NJ 2-1-1 call centers and the 2-1-1 Web site (http://www.nj211.org) offer practical information about resources to turn to in NJ for those who are hungry and are having trouble feeding their family. NJ 2-1-1 offers information on this and other life challenges like avoiding foreclosure, living through a layoff and utility assistance.

As budgets tighten, no one in New Jersey should have to be hungry. There are places to turn if citizens need help finding a way to feed themselves or their family. NJ residents can dial 2-1-1 from anywhere in the state to learn about local resources and how to access them.

Residents may be eligible for Food Stamps if they meet the income eligibility requirements, enabling them to buy healthy food at many supermarkets. Applications for this program should be submitted through the county office of social services or a person can determine their eligibility by completing a brief questionnaire at http://www.njhelps.org.

New Jersey's WIC program will provide pregnant women, new mothers and children under 5 with vouchers for food and formula and also offers counseling services. Applications for this program (where can they find the application) must be submitted to local WIC offices.

Many schools offer breakfast and lunch programs that are either free of charge or available at a reduced rate. Check with your child's school to find out what is available. By taking advantage of this program families will save money that could be put towards purchasing food for dinner.

Senior clubs and centers offer food programs. All NJ counties have community programs that provide meals to person's age 60 and older. These include congregate or group meals, as well as meals for the homebound. Find out about a program near you by dialing 2-1-1 24/7 or during business hours your county Office on Aging at 1-877-222-3737.

Food Pantries provide packaged goods to people who cannot afford to buy groceries and soup kitchens offer a hot meal to the hungry. Both are dependent upon donations from the community to keep services going, and hours vary so patrons must call before going to make sure that the facility is open. A listing of food pantries and soup kitchens can be found by visiting http://www.endhungernj.org or by dialing 2-1-1.

More information on these programs and how they work is available on the NJ 2-1-1 web site (http://www.nj211.org). The site provides a brief description of available resources as well as direct phone numbers and office locations for each of the local social services and WIC offices throughout the state and provides income guidelines, application requirements and helpful links to other sites. NJ residents may also dial 2-1-1 any time of the day or night to receive free and confidential information and assistance from a caring professional who knows local community resources.

About NJ 211
NJ 2-1-1 is a system of support, using inbound calls as well as a Web site (http://www.nj211.org) with Instant Messaging capability, that is intended to provide free, personal assistance to anyone trying to navigate their way through the vast network of health and human services, government assistance programs and local community resources in New Jersey. NJ 2-1-1 is aimed at lessening the burden of callers by providing understanding and compassion along with the information that is needed to address the caller's concerns. This confidential service is supported by United Way in partnership with the State of New Jersey - Department of Human Services, Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, Department of Health and Senior Service, and the Department of Children and Families.

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Suzanne Ross
NJ 2-1-1
973-764-2081
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