About the NJFDC

Background

In June 2020, the NJFDC formed from a shared interest among several dozen organizations and individuals across NJ for collaboration across sectors of the food system. Those involved felt the need to better understand and research the state’s food system and to increase local producer-to-consumer infrastructure, particularly for low-income communities across the state. From June 2020 to November 2020, the NJFDC held 11 guided multi-sector discussion group meetings with 143 stakeholders, including growers, market managers, community gardeners, researchers, cooperative extension, natural resources specialists, and emergency food system professionals. The purpose of these conversations was to learn about the food system’s current challenges and gather feedback on common and shared observations, concerns, and suggestions for solutions.

In May 2021, a cohort of NJFDC participants submitted a response to the NJ Economic Development Authority’s Request for Information on how the state can effectively address food insecurity in its communities. Read our response

Who Is Part of the NJFDC?

More than 250 individuals from 20 different sectors across the state are participating in NJFDC activities and share the vision for an equitable and resilient food system. 

  • NJ health care organizations
  • Emergency and charity food organizations, regional and local food banks
  • NJ farmers, growers, and producers 
  • Food security, community food access, and food justice organizations
  • SNAP outreach, SNAP-Ed, WIC, and FMNP partners
  • State and local agencies and public officials
  • Academic researchers, cooperative extension, and students
  • Food retail organizations including community farmers markets

The NJFDC Facilitation Team

The following volunteers provide guidance and direction to the NJFDC through their participation on the Facilitation Team:

  • Renata Blumberg, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Nutrition and Food Studies, Montclair State University
  • Fredric A. Byarm, Invincible City Farms
  • Jeanine Cava, Stockton University and Soil to Soul Farm (NJFDC Founder and Lead Facilitator)
  • Sara Elnakib, Ph.D., MPH, RDN, Assistant Professor, Rutgers University
  • Ron Hutchison, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Sustainability, Stockton University
  • Karyn Moskowitz, M.B.A., Founder, Director, New Roots, Fresh Stops Markets and Interfaith Neighbors
  • Lisa Newcomb, President, Communities Revolutionizing Open Public Spaces
  • Emilio Panasci, Founder, Executive Director, Urban Agriculture Cooperative
  • Claudia Urdanivia, 4-H Program Associate, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Hudson County and Green Acre Community Garden
  • Nicole A. Vaughn, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Public Health & Wellness, Rowan University