Garden State’s Largest Food Desert, Camden New Jersey

by Chef Murph

Issue dearest to my heart. 35-45% of Food in the US is wasted ! ! !1 in 5 Children go Hungry!

Some background  Camden NJ Population (2015) 77,000+/- is almost double that of Mount Laurel NJ 41,000+/- . Camden is a county seat, both are approximately 37 Square miles, Camden has three times the industry. Yet, Camden NJ has 1 low end supermarket that can’t be reached by 80% of it population. MT. Laurel residents have 8 high end supermarkets IE: ShopRite, Wegmans, ACME Markets etc. Most residents can’t eat fresh fruits and quality foods except out of cans because they can’t get to it.


One of seven food Bank in the United States that I work with is TOUCH New Jersey Food Pantry an agent of Philabundance feeds families every week not just in Camden NJ, but hundreds through outreach in the Delaware Valley.  Touch saves some of that 35%+ through food recovery. They make it possible so that my foundation (Humans for People Foundation) and myself to feed Homeless Vets in Philly, Aids Hospice, homeless in Camden Shelters and People in need. Now, they are in need of a new building so they can double intake to feed the triple the demand in the Garden State’s largest food desert Camden NJ.

Can you help???

You have to know,  I grew up with Acme Markets my father ran the old acme bakery in Philadelphia. He loved making sure every kid on their kindergarten trip got a loaf of fresh Acme bread. This was one of his greatest joys.  I guess that influenced me to feed people, making the mission mine too.  ACME Markets without supporting Touch through Philabundance there would be no fresh produce to hand out to the other 80% of residence of Camden NJ with no access.

If the elected government officials really care about their people. Why would they not put a supermarket around that of the downtown transportation center. This is on all bus routes and light rail. Centralizing, bringing people to that area. Hey, look at the benefits to local politicians. Your constituents could meet with you. Instead; you allowed Camden to qualify as the largest ‪#‎Fooddesert in the Garden State, if not the country due to population, under the guidelines of  President Obama  U.S. Department of Agriculture .



Thanks, for the goodness of the First Lady Michelle Obama (XOXO) for taking the issue of Child Nutrition and bringing Food Deserts to the forefront. Maybe with all the visitors coming to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia next week they could see a food desert first hand. Helping the Camden’s City Council, Camden County Government and @GovernerChrisChristie to include, The State of New Jersey to fix this situation.

  • In 2010, 42 percent of the members of households in New Jersey served by the emergency food system were children under 18 years old (up from 33 percent in 2006).Source: NJ Federation of Food Banks hunger survey, February 2010
  • There were 906,735 people participating in the food stamp program in New Jersey, up from 542,424 in 2009, an increase of 67.2%.Source: Food Research and Action Center, December 2014

In my heart I feel, Good food makes for better decision.
Thank you

Chef Murph



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