- State Fellow: Hayley Klein
- State Partner Supervisor: Jennifer Shukaitis (Rutgers) and Beth Feehan (NJDA)
For more information, please contact Hayley.
WHY SERVE IN NEW JERSEY?
New Jersey is a state with a lot of love and a little of everything: gorgeous ocean beaches, Pine Barrens hiking, diverse urban spaces, and sprawling rural fields. Situated between two major cities – New York and Philadelphia – New Jersey is aptly named the Garden State, home to nearly 10,000 urban and rural farms producing over 100 crops enjoyed nationwide! Connecting New Jersey youth to local agriculture reinforces our agricultural heritage and unites communities with the shared vision of improving child health.
Like New Jersey itself, our service sites reflect a broad diversity of geography, culture, and resources. New Jersey residents experience many racial, ethnic, and geographical health disparities and service members often serve in counties with the lowest health rankings. Around 15% of New Jerseyans experience food insecurity and 25% of youth are overweight or obese. Our network of service sites continues to positively impact health and wellness awareness using a variety of action-driven farm to school efforts including Jersey-grown produce procurement, classroom programming, and school garden support.
Our state partners help the diverse population of New Jersey adapt to a rapidly changing society and improve their lives and communities through an educational process that uses science based knowledge. Through science-based educational programs, Rutgers Cooperative Extension truly enhances the quality of life for residents of New Jersey and brings the wealth of knowledge of the state university to local communities.
The New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA) Division of Food and Nutrition administers the USDA School Nutrition Programs, Child & Adult Care Food Programs, Summer Food Service Programs, and USDA Food Distribution Programs. The Farm to School Program at NJDA carries out trainings, provides resources and connects New Jersey farms with local schools, summer meals and early child care sites.