Created within legislation signed in September, 2021, the Office of the Food Security Advocate is responsible for coordinating the state’s food insecurity programs and advocating for the food insecure. They will also help to develop policy and guide the hungry to food relief programs. Of course, these things are easier to do when you have someone in charge to guide the way.

Thankfully, that problem has just been solved.

Mark Dinglasan was appointed as director of the new office on August 4th. As executive director of CUMAC, Bergen county’s largest anti-hunger organization, and his current role, Dinglasan has committedly given himself over to ending hunger in that county for over five years.

“I’m extremely humbled and excited for the opportunity to serve the state of New Jersey as as Director of the Office of the Food Security Advocate,” said Mark Dinglasan. “Ending hunger has nothing to do with giving people food and have everything to do with advocating for food security. New Jersey has the leadership, the systems, and the change agents that we can partner with to pursue that advocacy.”

Before his work at CUMAC, Dinglasan acquired a wealth of experience in non-profit work in the Chicago-Cook County area, working as Executive Director of CASA of Cook County and Director of Development and Marketing for Just the Beginning, a pipeline program helping to diversify the legal community. In all, he has over 15yrs in non-profit and corporate worlds, giving him what is hopefully the right mix of skills needed to work a government role.

Governor Murphy had this to say of Dinglasan’s appointment, “I am confident that under Mark’s leadership, we will make great strides in our ongoing commitment to end food insecurity by strengthening food assistance and providing support to communities across the state.”

Said Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, “Leading CUMAC as its Executive Director for the last five years, Mark brings deep knowledge about New Jersey’s food landscape and a unique skillset focused on food justice that together make him highly equipped to step into the role. I will look forward to meeting with him in the coming weeks as he builds out the vision for the office and to partnering in the future to ensure everyone can have their most basic food needs met.”

NJ Food Supply would like to congratulate Mr. Dinglasan, and we wish him the best of luck. It is our hope that this new legislation accomplishes what it intends and that somehow we can reach lower numbers of food insecure individuals in New Jersey.