Essex County

Essex County


According to U.S. Census 2013 Data Estimates:

  • 789,565 people reside in Essex County, an increase of approximately 2%
  • 16.1% of residents in Essex County lived in poverty
  • The racial profile for Essex County residents is 49.9% Caucasian, 41.9% African American, 21.7% Hispanic, 5.1% Asian, .7% American Indian or Alaskan Native, and 2.2% reporting as two or more races
  • Per capita income is $32,171.

Population & Demographics-Newark

According to US Census 2013 Data Estimates:

  • Essex County is home to the City of Newark, which is the largest New Jersey municipality with 278, 427 residents, an increase of almost 3% from 2012 estimates
  • The city of Newark has a racial profile of 26.3% white, 52.4% African American, Hispanic 33.8%,1.6% Asian, and 0.6% American Indian/Alaska Native. (2010) 
  • Approximately 28% of Newark residents live below the poverty level
  • Per capita income is reported is $17,161.

USDA SNAP Participating Families

  • There are 66,382 households with 132,073 individuals (68,957 adults and 65,591 children) receiving SNAP benefits in Essex County.  There are 452,217 households with 475,324 adults and 426,628 children receiving SNAP statewide.
  • In the 2013 school year, more than 69,914 Essex County students were eligible for free or reduced price meals, an increase of 11%from 2009.

Essex County SNAP-ED Project

The Essex County SNAP-Ed Program targets the municipalities of Newark, Orange and East Orange, Bloomfield, and  Irvington for SNAP recipients or individuals who are eligible to receive SNAP benefits. The program also services schools in these municipalities where over 50% of students receive free or reduced price school meals. SNAP-Ed programming currently serves the following populations:

  • Adults participating in "Work First" programs supported by the New Jersey Department of Labor
  • Youth groups in Newark, Orange and Bloomfield Public School Districts (Grades K -12)
  • Youth groups in Newark Public Schools Youth Development After School Program and summer program
  • Adults in residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities
  • Hispanic adults and senior citizens at community development centers
  • Homeless adults in local shelters
  • Parents and children in low-income housing

Non Duplication

The SNAP-Ed program will provide nutrition education to individuals and youth groups who are not serviced by the Essex County Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). The EFNEP and SNAP-Ed Program Associates work closely to ensure non-duplication of services in schools and community agencies throughout Essex County.

Project Objectives

  • To promote the SNAP-Ed program and its mission of achieving food security by improving the diets and nutritional behaviors that are consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Healthy Americans.
  • To facilitate collaboration among various organizations and agencies to target SNAP program participants or eligible youth, adults and seniors for nutrition education.
  • To fulfill competencies of the Rutgers School of Health Related Sciences, Dietetic Internship Food Security Rotation, Essex County SNAP-Ed will work with dietetic interns to contribute to the intern's professional development in the area of nutrition education for SNAP participants and to improve Essex SNAP-Ed outreach capabilities
  • To provide nutrition education, according to the statewide mission, to Spanish speaking SNAP eligible adults and seniors throughout Essex County.
  • To provide nutrition education classes to youth in schools and parent groups where more than 50% of the students receive free or reduced price meals and who are not served by EFNEP.

Project Activities

  • To provide behaviorally-focused, learner-driven, outcome-based nutrition education lessons throughout Essex County.
  • To work with dietetic interns to contribute to the intern's professional development in the area of nutrition education for SNAP participants, and to improve Essex SNAP-Ed outreach capabilities.
  • To utilize the Community Food bank of New Jersey by obtaining USDA and State Food Purchase Program (SFPP) commodities to be used for food demonstrations and as a resource for SNAP-Ed participants.
  • To participate in community health fairs throughout Essex County to help increase nutrition awareness within the community.
  • To collaborate with local, municipal and county wide agencies to better coordinate SNAP services.


The evaluation outcomes include an overall measurement of the impact of nutrition education amongst the adults and senior population of the SNAP-Ed program participants. The WebNEERS reporting system is used to enter data from the Pre and Post surveys. The dietetic interns will be listed as part of the year-end evaluation report.


Collaborative Relationships
Rutgers School of Health Related Sciences
Newark Public Schools
Bloomfield Public Schools
FOCUS Hispanic Center for Community Development
Covenant House
Community Food Bank of New Jersey
CURA, Inc.
East Orange Substance Abuse Program
Integrity House
Ironbound Community Corp.
Newark Workforce Investment Board
One Stop East Orange
Orange Public Schools
International Youth Organization
Salvation Army
Salvation Army Boys &Girls Club and Senior Center of Ironbound


Sheetal Bhatia, MS, MPH, RD
Senior Program Coordinator  Northeast Region
NJ SNAP-Ed/EFNEP Northeast Region
Rutgers,School of Health Related Sciences
Dept. of Nutritional Sciences
65 Bergen Street- Room GB03
Newark, NJ 07107
Phone: 973-972-9488
Fax: 973-972-7403