Food Insecurity in Middlesex County

Riley Link, Curtis McDaniel, Daniel Rodriguez, and Sabeen Rokerya, 2018 Ralph W. Voorhees Public Service Fellows, partnered with the Middlesex County Food Organization and Outreach Distribution Services (MCFOODS) during the Fall 2018 semester to research food insecurity in Middlesex County. MCFOODS asked the fellows to explore whether there are areas of unmet demand for food assistance in Middlesex County and especially in the towns of Carteret and Woodbridge. This is difficult to do and could not be fully completed within one semester. The fellows began the process of answering these questions by (1) exploring the demographic and economic characteristics of communities in Middlesex County, (2) mapping the MCFOODS-networked food pantries that serve these communities, and (3) identifying communities which experience higher rates of poverty and which have more adults 75 and over. Using this information, the team identified areas that might have higher demand for food assistance and therefore warrant additional research. The report begins with background information about food insecurity. A short description about methodology and limitations follows. The authors then discuss what they learned about Middlesex County and specifically about Carteret and Woodbridge. The report concludes with key takeaways and recommendations for future research.