FoodCorps NJ Member Joins First Lady Michelle Obama to Plant White House Garden

Alexis Sangalang (fourth from right) with fellow FoodCorps members.

Alexis Sangalang (in foreground, fourth from right) with fellow FoodCorps members at the White House.

FoodCorps New Jersey service member Alexis Sangalang joined First Lady Michelle Obama and five other FoodCorps leaders to plant the sixth season of the White House Kitchen Garden with DC students on April 2.

Sangalang serves with the New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids in Camden, NJ. She works closely with Campbell’s Healthy Communities to serve six schools and community partners in Camden. [Read more...]

S.J. food stamp recipients learn to budget and plan

An anonymous fresh produce donation left at Colonial Manor Methodist Church is a blessing for the volunteer food pantry operating out of the church basement. …Their source is a mystery pantry founder Alice McKewen doesn’t mind leaving unsolved. It’s never been easy for federal food stamp recipients to stretch their allowance….In Gloucester County, 11,500 households receive SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits, a 4.7 percent increase since January 2013, according to Ed Smith, the county’s Division of Social Services superintendent. More than 31,700 Camden County households benefit from SNAP. On average, a family of four in Camden County receives $632 a month, according to its Division of Social Services. That’s just under $160 for groceries every week."People don’t necessarily know how to shop smart, or how to get through until the end of the month on their SNAP dollars, " said Luann Hughes, an educator at the Rutgers Cooperative Extension. "Budgeting and food planning help you stretch your dollars." Hughes’ programs target low-income families who may use food stamps. Her first lesson teaches SNAP students how to fill their pantries. Pick up pasta, canned vegetables, beans and soups from food pantries, and save food stamps for produce and meats, she advised.

Read the entire article at »

Salem County school gardens help students grow healthy eating habits

As the childhood obesity epidemic continues, teaching kids the benefits of healthy eating is becoming more and more important for parents and health officials…The foundation has partnered with Rutgers Cooperative Extension and the Food Corps this year to start the "Grow Healthy" campaign to reach kids by establishing garden projects at six schools in Salem County.

Read the entire article at »

Spring’s Here and so is Tree Pollen

NR12SEBSSpringSt0781Allergy sufferers in New Jersey and in the Northeast are already put on notice as their eyes start to tear and itch, and their symptoms are only expected to increase as tree pollen levels begin to soar.

Leonard Bielory, M.D., a specialist in allergy and immunology at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and at the Rutgers Center of Environmental Prediction at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, thinks that the increased snowfall this past winter promises a very robust allergy season. [Read more...]

Rutgers Cooperative Extension Participates in NJ Money Smart Week Events April 5-12

MoneySmartWeeklogoMoney Smart Week is an annual event designed to provide consumers with free, unbiased information to better manage their personal finances. This year’s event will be held from April 5-12. Originating in Chicago in 2002, the program is managed by the Chicago Federal Reserve and includes successful campaigns in more than a dozen states, with clusters of events and activities in nearly 40 states. [Read more...]