Food Bank of South Jersey Reports 7.6 Million Pounds of Food Distributed Since COVID-19 Response Began

Food Bank of South Jersey Records 2 Million Pound, One-Month Food Distribution in June 2020; Serves 94,800 people, including 35,000 South Jersey children.

More than 35,250 emergency food boxes distributed from March to June 30, 2020. More than 7.6 million pounds of food since March 2020.

PENNSAUKEN, NEW JERSEY – In the first 120 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 by distributing more than 7.6 million pounds of food, more than 34,250 emergency food boxes and feeding more than 94,800 people, including 35,000 children, during a massive food distribution initiative engineered to bring food, wellness and support to South Jersey.

COVID-19 HUNGER-RELIEF RESPONSE

As its 120th day of continued hunger-relief service was measured on June 30, 2020, the Food Bank of South Jersey – for the first time in its 35-year history – distributed more than 2 million pounds of food in one month, June 2020.

  • To date, the Food Bank is experiencing a 44 percent increase of food distributed as compared to the same time period last year – with the first half of 2019 showing a food distribution total of 6.9 million pounds, and the first half of 2020, including COVID-19 response, recording a 9.9 million total in food distribution.
  • Currently, 40 percent of participants attending the Food Bank’s food distributions continue to be first-time food bank recipients – driven to the Food Bank by the crushing economic and unemployment consequences of 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 shifted operations to meet and exceed the demands of a 200 percent increase in food insecurity throughout its four-county region of service.

“Our COVID-19 response continues – as there is no slowing down in the need for hunger relief throughout South Jersey,” reports Fred C. Wasiak, President & CEO, Food Bank of South Jersey. “Since the start of the our COVID-19 emergency food distribution response, scenes of residents waiting in line for food throughout Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem counties have presented a relevant, sobering and deeply troubling view of the escalating issue of hunger impacting South Jersey.”

Currently, the Food Bank of South Jersey’s COVID-19 hunger-relief response continues.

ABOUT FOOD BANK OF SOUTH JERSEY

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.

For the Food Bank of South Jersey, the task to stand strong for South Jersey as COVID-19 began disrupting life throughout the Garden State in March 2020 resulted in an operational and logistical restructuring to expand the organization’s power to fulfill a devastatingly sharp increase in food insecurity. With COVID-19 bringing school closures, stay-at-home orders, record-breaking unemployment and rising poverty, FBSJ within the first 120 days of response to the COVID-19 crisis distributed more than seven million pounds of food throughout its four-county region of impact, including the distribution of more than 34,500 emergency food boxes to food-insecure populations, increasing its partner agency network to over 200 and serving over 94,000 food-insecure South Jersey residents each month, including the distribution of more than 218,375 nutritious breakfasts and lunches to more than 35,000 food-insecure South Jersey children. To learn more, visit www.foodbanksj.org.