Closing the Grocery Gap in Underserved Communities in New Jersey

The Food Trust promotes the development of supermarkets in communities with few or no supermarkets
    • March 19, 2014

Dates of Project: July 2008 through June 2012

The Food Trust identified 13 areas of New Jersey with the greatest need for more supermarkets and worked to promote access to affordable, nutritious food in these underserved communities.

Description: The Food Trust modeled this project on its supermarket advocacy campaign in Pennsylvania, which resulted in the nation’s first statewide supermarket financing program and almost 90 new and expanded supermarkets across Pennsylvania.

Key Results

  • The Food Trust created five maps documenting the need for supermarkets in key areas of New Jersey. Project staff mapped food access, income, and diet-related health problems by plotting the location of supermarket sales, income, and diet-related mortality and obesity data. The maps show that 13 communities in New Jersey are in great need of more supermarkets: Atlantic City, Bridgeton, Camden, Hammonton, Lakewood, Newark, New Brunswick, Paterson, Perth Amboy, Phillipsburg, Salem, Trenton, and Vineland.

  • The Food Trust producedFood for Every Child: The Need for More Supermarkets in New Jersey (2009), a special report that builds upon maps and documents the need for supermarkets in key areas of New Jersey while reporting on the link between supermarket access and public health.

  • The Food Trust, New Jersey Food Council, and New Jersey Economic Development Agency convened the New Jersey Food Marketing Task Force. Comprised of experts from the supermarket industry, community economic development, city planning, advocacy and public health, the task force developed recommendations to create more supermarkets in lower-income communities.

    The task force produced a report, Expanding New Jersey’s Supermarkets: A New Day for the Garden State (2012), which presents the nine recommendations for the state.

According to The Food Trust, the project’s reports and the work of the New Jersey Food Marketing Task Force stimulated or contributed to new initiatives to increase the number of supermarkets in high-need New Jersey communities.

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The Food Trust: Access to food is not evenly distributed in NJ; 13 communities are underserved.