The Trenton Food Stakeholders
Food Access in Trenton:
Access to fresh, healthy, affordable food is a critical issue in Trenton. Decades of disinvestment have left much of the city a food desert. According to City Health Dashboard, up to 80-100% of residents in some neighborhoods have limited access to healthy food.
Trenton Food Stakeholders (TFS):
The Trenton Food Stakeholders (TFS) were convened by THT in February 2019 to drive collaboration towards addressing food system issues facing our region and to build on the good work of previous similar efforts. More than 35 organizations participate in TFS, including the City of Trenton’s Department of Health and Human Services, SNAP-Ed, Rider University, Hunger Free NJ, a local family farm, a small regional food distributor, Mercer Street Friends (the food bank for Mercer County), food pantries, and organizations that provide regular and emergency food services for different populations, such as HomeFront, the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, and the YMCA. TFS participants have self-organized into four work groups focusing on economic development, policy and advocacy, coordinated food banks and pantries, and cooking and nutrition education
TFS COVID-19 Response:
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, TFS is meeting biweekly rather than every other month. Together, we are collaborating and sharing resources, identifying gaps in food access and information, creating new connections between different parts of the food supply and distribution network to fill those gaps, mobilizing resources to fill immediate supply and capacity needs, and coordinating information between organizations and the public.
TFS current projects include:
- Assessing organizations’ services and capacity– For example, if additional food were available, would they be able to package and distribute it? Do they lack volunteers, equipment, supplies, food?
- Tracking and analyzing distribution offerings, sites, and times — THT maintains an online list and map of food resources, updated daily, to guide residents in need and identify populations and locations lacking resources.
- Working to secure resources to help farms or distributors make donations to organizations serving Trenton. Recently, Rolling Harvest hosted two free farmers markets open to Trenton residents.
- Supporting policy advocacy on food safety net rules and supports for food growers and distributors.
- Strengthening organizations’ capacity, such as helping secure funding and working to expand food system infrastructure, such as cold storage capacity.
THT believes this systems-level work not only helps meet community needs today, but will also strengthen the local food system post crisis.
About the Grantee
Trenton Health Team is an innovative, multi-sector partnership dedicated to the health and well-being of the greater Trenton community.