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.

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Brevoort Conover, retired Warren County 4-H Agent, dies at 83

Brevoort C. Conover, a former Warren County 4-H Agent and New Jersey State 4-H Youth Development department chair, died peacefully at his home in Bethlehem, Pa on April 13, 2014, surrounded by his family. He was 83. Conover proudly served as faculty of the Rutgers University Cooperative Extension for 30 years, attaining the rank of professor 1. He served as the Warren County 4-H agent for 19 years before being elected state department chair in 1978.He served in that position for nine years, and then served an additional two years as the Extension 4-H Specialist. He was a life member of the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents, serving various offices, including national president in 1974. He retired in 1989 as a professor emeritus. He was a member of the Rutgers Retired Faculty Association and a member of the Henry Rutgers Society. In 2010, he was recognized for his years of distinguished service with induction into the National 4-H Hall of Fame at the National 4-H Center in Chevy Chase, Md.

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Kenilworth Library celebrates Arbor Day

An Arbor Day Celebration was recently presented by Rutgers Cooperative Extension 4-H of Union County agent Jim Nichnadowicz at the Kenilworth Public Library. J. Sterling Morton organized the first Arbor Day in 1872 in Nebraska where more than one million trees were planted across the state.

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Reduce N & P in Lakes and Ponds with DIY Floating Wetland

Wetlands are effective tools for cleaning polluted water. As the plants grow they remove excess nutrients from stormwater runoff and store it in their leaves, while adding oxygen to the water. Their roots also support a habitat for microorganisms that feed on excess nutrients. A way to help lakes or ponds from becoming a soupy mess from overgrowth of algae is to build a floating wetland. In this video, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Camden and Burlington counties demonstrate how to make a “Do It Yourself” artificial floating wetland for lakes and ponds to help reduce levels of nitrogen and phosphorous.

Video: Floating Wetland

 

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.

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