Finding fruits and vegetables just got a whole lot easier thanks to Middlesex County’s new Accessing Healthy Foods interactive map.
This tool helps county residents locate food stores, farmers markets and food pantries that offer healthy foods.
Individuals can use the map to view public transportation routes to and from any of the locations so they can plan their journey.
The Accessing Healthy Foods interactive map is available on the Middlesex County website at http://middlesexcountynj.gov/healthyfoodsmap.
“Food insecurity is a growing problem throughout the United States, and Middlesex County is no exception,” said Board of County Commissioners Director Ronald G. Rios. “The COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened the problem, but we are working hard to ensure every family and individual in Middlesex County has enough food on the table every day. The Accessing Healthy Foods map will make it even easier to connect people in need of nutritious foods with stores, farmers markets and food pantries throughout the county.”
“The new Accessing Healthy Foods map is a great step forward in the fight against food insecurity here in Middlesex County,” said County Commissioner Claribel A. Azcona-Barber, chair of the county’s Community Services Committee. “Individuals can use the map to find places where they can get nourishing foods for themselves and their family – including grocery stores, farmers markets and food pantries. Best of all, they can do this from the convenience of their phone and can even map out their route to the location via public transportation.”
Food insecurity in Middlesex County
While the Accessing Healthy Foods map provides people with information on how to find food, there is always a need for those wishing to provide food via food donations for those in need.
The release of the county’s interactive food map comes at an especially relevant time, as the risk of food insecurity tends to increase during summer months while donations to food pantries traditionally decrease. Food insecurity remains particularly high this summer as the fallout from the pandemic-induced economic crisis continues.
Experts predict these ramifications will far outlast the public health crisis, with food insecurity remaining elevated even as the economy continues reopening and life returns to normal.
Middlesex County Food Organization and Distribution Services (MCFOODS) is working hard to collect supplies. Together with Woodbridge Township’s “We Feed” committee, MCFOODS is sponsoring a food drive at the Woodbridge Center Mall on July 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
All food donations will benefit the Woodbridge Township “We Feed” community pantries and MCFOODS.
In August, MCFOODS will partner with Playhouse 22 in East Brunswick to host a food drive as part of the community theater group’s free all-day, outdoor theater festival. Playhouse 22’s Theater Fest ’21 Food Drive will take place on Aug. 7 from noon to 9 p.m. at 721 Cranbury Road in East Brunswick.
Individuals are invited to drop off donations and stay for live music and theater performances.
The event is made possible by generous support from the East Brunswick Arts Coalition.
MCFOODS also accepts donations year-round at permanent collection sites located at libraries in East Brunswick, Edison, Metuchen, Milltown, Monroe, North Brunswick, Perth Amboy, Piscataway, Plainsboro, South Amboy, South Brunswick, South Plainfield, Spotswood and Woodbridge.
Donations are also welcome Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to noon at the MCFOODS Distribution Center, located at 28 Kennedy Boulevard in East Brunswick, around the back of the building.
Monetary donations are accepted in the form of a checks payable to Feeding Middlesex County. Checks may be mailed to P.O. Box 781, Edison 08818; or submitted online via the MCFOODS website at www.feedingmiddlesexcounty.org
- This information was provided by the Middlesex County Office of Communications.