LINDENWOLD, NEW JERSEY – It was early on a damp, cloudy Saturday morning, when the Food Bank of South Jersey’s Lindenwold Hope Mobile team began setting up more than 14,000 pounds of food, including over 500 emergency food boxes and 1,500 pounds of senior boxes to distribute to those in South Jersey facing food insecurity. On this particular Saturday morning, the Lindenwold Hope Mobile welcomed another team, assembled early and strong to help distribute food and greet families. This team came with a mission: Help in the fight against hunger in South Jersey.
With a long line of cars kicking off the Saturday drive-up food distribution, the Lindenwold Hope Mobile served a total of 213 households and 648 people, including the distribution of 260 Summer Meals boxes for children – each packed with 10 meals representing a total of 2,600 meals. Working side-by-side with team members and volunteers of the Food Bank of South Jersey, the NFL Alumni Association – Philadelphia Chapter spent hours loading trunks of vehicles with thousands of pounds of food, including COVID-19 emergency food boxes, bringing nutrition, sustainability and hope to hundreds of families.
“Caring for kids and caring for our community is our motto. We hope, in some small way, to help families at a time when our cities and our communities are suffering from the stress and uncertainty of a relentless pandemic. We can all do our part to help those in need,” reports Lee Woodall, President, NFL Alumni – Philadelphia Chapter.
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.
During the COVID-19 crisis, the Food Bank of South Jersey remained in operation continuously, expanding and strengthening its capacity to distribute record high volumes of food throughout Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem counties. With a focus on low-to-no contact food distributions, including emergency food box drive-up food distributions at approximately 60 regional locations, the Food Bank skillfully shifted operations to meet and exceed the demands of a 200 percent increase in food insecurity throughout its four-county region of service.
Earlier this year, the Food Bank of South Jersey, South Jersey’s largest hunger-relief organization, announced it would be partnering with several organizations, including the NFL Alumni Association – Philadelphia Chapter, throughout 2020 in various events, activities and regional campaigns to support the food bank’s expansive COVID-19 hunger relief efforts. The NFL Alumni – Philadelphia Chapter has been working with several groups to support families in need, including the Food Bank of South Jersey.
“We are incredibly grateful to the NFL Alumni Association – Philadelphia Chapter for standing strong with us and all of South Jersey during this time of record-breaking food insecurity,” reports Fred. C. Wasiak, President and CEO, Food Bank of South Jersey. “The friendship and partnership extended to us and all of South Jersey by this amazing team of champions is inspiring, as well as a great support to our hunger-relief mission.”
NFL Alumni was founded in 1967 and is the oldest and most recognizable national organization of retired professional athletes. NFL Alumni consists of former NFL players, coaches, executives, spouses, cheerleaders, and associate members. NFL Alumni’s motto of “Caring for Kid, Caring for Our Own” describes partnerships with organizations that serve our local communities. Player alumni give back by raising funds and volunteering for charities serving youth and families. For more information, please visit www.nflalumniphiladelphia.org.
Marking its 35th year in 2020, the Food Bank of South Jersey (FBSJ) is the leader in providing safe and nutritional food to people in need throughout South Jersey. FBSJ distributes food, provides nutrition education and cooking courses, and helps food-insecure families and seniors find sustainable ways to improve their lives. Throughout 2019, FBSJ distributed over 15 million pounds of food, more than 230,000 summer meals and over 17,500 senior food boxes, as well as serving 95 health and wellness programs to more than 11,700 residents. Providing community impact through local support, FBSJ ensures that local donations stay local. FBSJ is a member of Feeding America, our nation’s largest hunger-relief organization. To learn more, visit www.foodbanksj.org.