The responsibility to feed our food-insecure neighbors during this relentless pandemic is great. Without you, it would be impossible!
During the last few months, the COVID-19 pandemic has altered so much of our everyday lives – how we interact, how we shop, how we learn, how we work. In some cases, those changes are relatively small: we wear masks when we go out, we work from home if possible, we trade in-person meetings and events for virtual experiences.
Gone is the daily feeling of being connected to one another, the foundation of what makes us human: COMMUNITY.
Still, despite the crushing impact of COVID-19, South Jersey remains, now more than ever, a community of strength, compassion and accountability.
At the Food Bank of South Jersey, we see this community of strength each and every day. We see it in the faces of our team. We see it in the generosity of individuals, small businesses, large corporations, regional associations. We see it in the faces of those we serve. With food insecurity surpassing expectations at this time, this community that is South Jersey is standing strong as ONE COMMUNITY in the face of sobering realities.
- As Feeding America reports, now is a challenging and complex time of service for our nation’s food banks. The pandemic has necessitated a tremendous shift in not only the need for food, but also in how that vital food is safely and consistently distributed. Before the pandemic, Feeding America and its network of 200 food banks, including the Food Bank of South Jersey, served 40 million food-insecure people.
- As the virus continues, Feeding America estimates that 17.1 million additional people could find themselves without enough food. Many of our neighbors who were employed before the pandemic now find themselves without a job. The result: Surging food insecurity impacting more households and neighborhoods throughout South Jersey than ever experienced in recent decades.
- A recent report by Feeding America finds that the number of food insecure children could escalate to 18 million because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The highest total ever reported by USDA in the 25 years that it has been measuring food insecurity was 17.2 million in 2009 at the height of the Great Recession.
- Feeding America network food banks across the country continue to mobilize their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, deploying new distributions, many of which are drive-through and outdoor, to maximize social distancing. The network, including the Food Bank of South Jersey, is distributing emergency food boxes, and more will continue to reach families and individuals in need in the coming days and weeks.
- In the first 90 days of its response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Food Bank of South Jersey – South Jersey’s largest hunger-relief organization – increased its capacity to serve a surging food-insecure population of South Jersey by distributing more than five million pounds of food, more than 22,000 emergency food boxes and feeding approximately 90,000 people during a three-month operational expansion dedicated to feeding food-insecure residents impacted by COVID-19.
Imagine…90,000 hungry people.
You might think one person – one donation – may be insignificant, in the face of the monumental task to feed tens of thousands of people each day. The reality is, every donation is significant. Every $1 results in three meals. Every donation strengthens our capacity to serve the community that has relied upon us for the past 35 years. There is tremendous power in the smallest gesture of support. Whether a $5 donation or a $5,000 donation, the result is the same: People are being fed, hunger is being averted … we are standing together as ONE COMMUNITY.
Food is being distributed. Children are receiving meals. Seniors are being nourished. Hope is shared. Thanks to you!
During this time of continued COVID-19 response, the Food Bank of South Jersey recognizes every donation made to strengthening its capacity to serve. With every donation, a child is fed. With each dollar contributed, those in our community struggling to fight hunger are realizing they are not alone – they belong to a community that will support them during times of trouble. This community is the community of South Jersey – a community of boundless kindness and limitless hope. A community the Food Bank of South Jersey is grateful to serve, and proud to call home.