Passaic County Food Policy Council



The Passaic County Food Policy Council (PCFPC) is a cross-sector coalition whose mission is to end hunger by addressing the root causes of food insecurity in Passaic County.  The council brings together partners from across the food system, and advocates for policies and practices that make healthy food more affordable, accessible, and available to Passaic County residents.

The coalition is governed by a Steering Committee and a Resident Advisory Board.  Key activities of the coalition are:

  • SNAP/WIC Outreach and Enrollment
  • Healthy Food Retail 
  • Farm to Institution
  • Expanding Access to and Improving Quality of School Meals
  • School and Community Gardens
  • Cooking and Nutrition Knowledge 
  • Resident Leadership and Community Driven Action
  • Capacity Building for Member Organizations 
  • Food Policy Advocacy



In 2012, UWPC and the PCFPC released Where’s the Food? A Report on Food Insecurity and Food Access in Passaic County, New Jersey. This report provided a comprehensive view of food availability, accessibility, and affordability in Passaic County.  This critical data-informed UWPC and the members of the PCFPC as they worked to create The PUSH Report: A Community Vision to Create Food Security for All, an action plan publicly released on October 24, 2012.   

PCFPC members have used the PUSH report as a catalyst to expand and implement projects in the community, which have included: an assessment of the food retail opportunities in Paterson's first ward, programming at Habitat for Humanity to educate and assist homeowners in the establishment of home gardens; UWPC’s Family Table project providing cooking classes and nutrition education to young families; Expansion of Farmers Markets in the City of Paterson by City Green; a worksite wellness initiative for Passaic County worksites coordinated by UWPC and the Passaic County Public Health Collaborative; as well as successful advocacy for the expansion of school breakfast in the City of Paterson. 

In 2017 the PCFPC released a comprehensive community Building a Culture of Health: Blueprint for Action The Blueprint for Action addresses the social determinants of health- the drivers of health outcomes – and includes four focus areas:  Healthy Food Access, Economic Opportunity, Access to Clinical Healthcare, and Community Safety.  The PCFPC is responsible for implementing the Healthy Food Access strategies outlined in the Blueprint for Action which include:  Federal Meals Programs, Healthy Food Procurement, Wellness Policies, Nutrition and Cooking Knowledge, and Healthy Corner Stores.  These strategies are implemented by action-oriented working groups within the council.   Read more about the Council's achievements.

The Passaic County Food Policy Council is a member of the National Food Policy Council Network based out of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future.

For more information about the Passaic County Food Policy Council please follow us on Facebook: @PassaicFood .  

Steering Committee Members

Oshin Castillo, Passaic County Board of Social Services

Mary Celis, The United Way of Passaic County

Jessica Elicin, Community Food Bank NJ

Meghan Gosselink, Community Food Bank NJ

Jennifer Gonzalez, CUMAC

Arti Kakkar, Passaic County Department of Human Services

Shana Manradge, PCFPC Resident Advisory Board

Lisa Pitz, Hunger Free New Jersey, PCFPC Policy Advisor 

Jennifer Salt Taylor, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, PCFPC Steering Committee Chair

Rachel Terry, The Common Market




The Passaic County Food Policy Council meets on the second Wednesday of January, March, May, July, September, and November.  Meetings are generally from 9:30am to 11:30am.  Meeting times for Working Groups varies.  

For more information, and to be added to the e-mail list for meeting announcements and newsletters, email Mary Celis.


Passaic County Food Policy Council Newsletter - May 2022

Passaic County Food Policy Council Newsletter - March 2022

Passaic County Food Policy Council Newsletter - January 2022

Passaic County Food Policy Council Newsletter - September 2021


Alliance for a Healthier Generation  
Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly 
Bridge Hope CDC 
Catholic Charities  
Center for Family Resources 
Children's Aid & Family Services 
City Green  
City of Paterson Economic Development  
City of Paterson Health & Human Services 
Community Food Bank of New Jersey   

EVA's Village

Food Corps 
Habitat for Humanity  
New Hope Community Ministries 
New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition 
Northern NJ Maternal-Child Consortium  
Passaic County Dept. of Planning & Economic Development 
Passaic County Dept. of Public Health 
Passaic County Division of Nutrition Services, Dept. of Senior Services 
Paterson Alliance 
Paterson Education Fund  
Paterson Great Falls Youth Build 
Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Passaic County  
Shoprite – Little Falls. NJ  
Shoprite - Passaic NJ 
Small Business Development Center 
St. Augustine Church 
St. Joseph's Healthcare System 
St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center Foundation 
St. Peter's Haven 
Star of Hope Ministries 
Wayne YMCA 

Visitors are always welcome at Food Policy Council general meetings! Membership inquiries: Please contact Mary Celis

For more information on upcoming events, volunteer opportunities and Council membership, please contact call (973) 279-8900 Ext. 209