The economy is not bouncing back fast enough for families to get back on their feet and for those in New Jersey, the additional hit that Superstorm Sandy brought slowed down the recovery process. These families are relying more and more on public services, such as food pantries.
However, with federal assistance programs to be cut this November, food pantry leaders will face difficult challenges for this upcoming fall and winter, according to Action Against Hunger.
Sunday, Oct. 6 is the 22nd Annual Action Against Hunger Food Drive. It will run from noon to 4 p.m.
The most-needed items include nonperishable nutritious foods such as canned vegetables, meats, fish and fruits; hearty soups and stews; pasta; white and brown rice; peanut butter; enriched cereals; oatmeal, pancake mix, and powdered or evaporated milk; 100 percent fruit juice; baby formula; and low-sugar and low-sodium foods for those with special dietary needs. Organizers request that no glass containers or outdated items be donated."
Tax-deductible, cash donations will go a long way. The Community FoodBank of NJ reports “For every $1.00 in our operating budget, we provide close to $10.00 worth of food to the hungry.”
“We know that more than 1.2 million people in New Jersey, including almost 400,000 children, are facing hunger,” said Kathleen DiChiara, President & CEO of Community FoodBank of New Jersey.
Action Against Hunger—which serves 65 pantries that assist more than 40,000 people—is the North Jrsey Media Group Foundation’s annual food drive to replenish food on the shelves of food pantries and residents’ homes.
“We are so thankful for everyone who annually joins us to help our neighbors in need,” said Jennifer Borg, vice president and general counsel of North Jersey Media Group and president of the North Jersey Media Group Foundation.
Hunger by the numbers:
The North Jersey Media Group said that statistics show:
- 1.2 million people in New Jersey are considered food insecure
- 45 percent do not qualify for food assistance.
- In 2012 children living in families receiving food stamps was up 80% to 396,000
- Nearly 1 million struggling New Jersey residents will lose SNAP (food stamps) benefits this November
“With so much need all around us, the Community FoodBank of New Jersey and our more than 1,100 partner agencies applaud Action Against Hunger for helping get food to our hungry neighbors, and for raising awareness about the dire circumstances for so many hard-working families across the state,” said DiChiara.
More than 100 locations in northern Jersey are accepting monetary donations and food contributions. Donations can also be made online at ActionAgainstHunger.com or mailed to North Jersey Media Group Foundation, c/o Legal Department, P.O. Box 75, Hackensack, NJ 07602-9192. One hundred percent of all donations go to those in need.
“Again this year, we need your assistance even more by organizing a neighborhood pick-up, bringing canned goods to a party for the host to donate, or initiating a food drive within your house of worship, civic group or work to support the cause,” said Borg. “In addition to increasing personal giving, helping us increase the donor pool will provide a big boost for the cause.”