Mercer County

Mercer County is in the heart of central New Jersey and is the location of the State Capital in Trenton.  As indicated by the demographic data below, it is a county of contrasts and diversity.  The Mercer County SNAP-Ed Project's primary target is Trenton and its outskirts, which accounts for the highest concentration of limited-resource population in the County.

Demographics (source: US Census Bureau)

Mercer County

  • Population 371,537 (2014 estimate)
  • Per Capita income $37,465 (2009-20013)
  • Persons below the poverty level 11.2% (2009-2013)
  • 66% White, 21.1% African American, Asian 10%, Hispanic or Latino16.2% (2013)

        Target Area - Trenton 

  • Population 84,349 (2013 estimate), 
  • Per Capita income $17,532 (2009-2013)
  • Persons below the poverty level 26.5% (2009-2013)
  • 26.6%, White, 52.0% Black or African American, 33.7% Hispanic or Latino,  1.2% Asian
     

USDA SNAP and Other Public Assistance Program Participation  (Source: NJ Dept of Human Services, January 2015)

  • As of January 2015, 18,270 households or 33,573 individuals (15,858 children) in Mercer County received SNAP Benefits. 
  • Work First New Jersey Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) served 1,895 families in Mercer County while 1,278 received General Assistance (GA) as of January, 2015.

Non Duplication

  • The Mercer County SNAP-Ed program will provide nutrition education to adult participants and youth groups who are not served by the Mercer County Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP).
  • Education for youth will occur in community after school programs and special interest groups where 50% or more of the students are where 50% or more of the students are receiving free or reduce price school lunches.
  • Education for adults will occur in community centers, job training sites, rehabilitation centers and shelters where 50% or more of the participants are SNAP-eligible.  

Project Objectives

  • To promote the SNAP-Ed Project and its statewide mission to improve food security, food safety practices, dietary quality and food resource management through nutrition education programs. 
  • To emphasize the importance of being physically active as part of a healthy lifestyle through nutrition education programs.
  • To improve and increase collaboration among existing agencies that currently work with limited-resource populations such as governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations and private enterprises to improve the nutrition education services available to SNAP-eligible individuals and families.

Project Activities

  • To provide behaviorally-focused, learner-driven, outcome-based nutrition education to youth, adult and senior SNAP recipients through lessons in English and Spanish that have been approved by NJ SNAP-Ed Curriculum Support Project.
  • To Inform SNAP-Ed participants of available community resources and assistance programs.
  • To disseminate information about NJ SNAP-Ed and its mission through community outreach and networking efforts such as participation in coalitions, working groups, conferences and health fairs targeting the limited-resource population.

Evaluation

  • The evaluation methodology used includes an overall measurement of the impact of nutrition education among SNAP-Ed program participants.  The WebNEERS reporting system is used for pre and post surveys.
     

Collaborative Relationships

  • Another Door Opens Recovery Center
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of America
  • Brighter Day Behavioral Health
  • Catholic Charities Diocese of Trenton
  • Catholic Youth Organization of Mercer County
  • Central Jersey Family Health Consortium
  • Children's Home Society
  • Henkels and McCoy Training Services Group
  • Home Front
  • Mercer County Board of Social Services
  • Mercer County Community College - Youth College Program
  • Mercer Street Friends Food Bank
  • New Jersey Department of Health
  • New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids - Trenton
  • New Jersey Youth Corps
  • The Crisis Ministry
  • Trenton Area Soup Kitchen
  • Trenton Board of Education
  • Trenton Department of Health and Human Services
  • Ujima Ministries
  • Work First New Jersey
  • YMCA of Trenton
  • YWCA of Trenton

Contact

Amanda Skahan, MS, RD
Program Associate
Mercer County SNAP-Ed
RCE of Mercer County
930 Spruce Street
Trenton, NJ  08648
Phone: 609-989-6972
Fax:  609-396-2915
Email: askahan@aesop.rutgers.edu