Summer 2020 Newsletter

A Taste of Compassion

A publication by the Food Bank of South Jersey.

The Power of Compassion: We Could Not Feed South Jersey Without You

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 month during a global pandemic.

The Power of Compassion: We Could Not Feed South Jersey Without You

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 month during a global pandemic.

Every donation is significant.
Our ability to feed food-insecure neighbors during the COVID-19 pandemic would have been impossible without the immense help and support of compassionate donors, partners, supporters, volunteers and friends. 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, and we are standing together as one community.

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.

For some members of our community; however, the impact has been severe. Unemployment. Financial crisis. Health emergencies. The daily struggle of hunger.

Food insecurity during these days of COVID-19 has touched every community in our four-county region: Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem. Lines for emergency food distributions stretch for miles. More than 95,000 people per month depend on the Food Bank of South Jersey to sustain their households – providing much-needed wellness kits packed with enough food to feed a family for five to seven days. This food provides meals for children, nourishment for seniors and hope for tens of thousands of households throughout our region. More than 40 percent of the people turning to the Food Bank of South Jersey at this time have never before required this kind of life-sustaining help.

The hunger demand created by COVID-19 has been a devastation to South Jersey.
During this time of continued COVID-19 response, the Food Bank of South Jersey recognizes every donation made to strengthening the 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.

Visit www.foodbanksj.org/covid19 for the latest news and updates on the Food Bank of South Jersey’s continued COVID-19 hunger-relief response in South Jersey.

A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT & CEO

Fred C. Wasiak

As the change of season approaches, and we bid a farewell to a summer none of us will ever forget, to share that a moment of pause and reflection is required is an understatement. The summer of 2020 will not be remembered for its sporting events, carefree vacations and community gatherings in the sunshine. It will be remembered instead as the summer we were all reminded – or perhaps experienced for the first time with a sobering shock – what it means to be resilient.

What has COVID-19 taught us about the power of resiliency in South Jersey?

Plenty. At the Food Bank of South Jersey, we see resiliency every day. We see it in our staff, volunteers and partners. We see it in the spirit of our donors, supporters and friends. We see it in the countless hours of work, during a global pandemic, of our collective team to facilitate the feeding of tens of thousands of households. We see it in the commitment of our longtime corporate supporters, compassionate and growing donor community and regional friends. Most of all, we see it in the faces of the tens of thousands of people turning to us for help during these days of COVID-19.

Resiliency is the spirit of South Jersey. The expression South Jersey Strong embodies the heart and soul of our community, one that rises to support itself through the worst of days, while, at the same time, looks toward the future with optimism and hope.

Resiliency is the action of South Jersey, a community standing strong as one community, with one purpose – to sustain itself through a crisis of historic proportions. A community resolved to feed its children, nourish its families and continue to support the wellness of its senior citizens.

Resiliency is the compassion of South Jersey. It is the heart of a community that does not know how to stop caring – a community of understanding, fortitude and steadfast devotion to what is most important to sustain any community: Love.

Right now, we are serving more than 95,000 of our South Jersey neighbors every month, through a massive outreach of emergency food distributions throughout our four-county region. We are able to do this thanks to the countless many resilient faces and forces that power us forward – strong in service to a community that, itself, sustains us through its own resilient spirit.

Yours in gratitude, hope and resiliency,

SALUTING 35 YEARS

The Food Bank of South Jersey commemorated its 35th anniversary on June 24, 2020 aboard the Battleship New Jersey with a Saluting Guns celebration. The Food Bank of South Jersey was born in the City of Camden on June 24, 1985, founded by a small group of volunteers who were dedicated to feeding their food-insecure neighbors throughout the City of Camden. Today, South Jersey’s largest hunger-relief organization is providing food to more than 95,000 people every month.

In the News
CBS Eyewitness News

A 27-Year Legacy Threatened by a Global Pandemic

For the last 27 years, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) has been proud to hold the Stamp Out Hunger food drive, the nation’s largest one day food drive. In 2019, this food drive resulted in more than 200,000 pounds of donated food items for the Food Bank of South Jersey. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NALC was not able to safely collect and distribute donated food in May. Good news: NALC is driving Stamp Out Hunger virtually. Find out how you can help by visiting foodbanksj.org/StampOutHunger.

UPCOMING EVENTS

September is Hunger Action Month

Join us all September long to learn how to help better strengthen our response and how to advocate for hungry South Jersey children, families and seniors.

Tune in VIRTUALLY for the Food Bank Hunger Games

Watch LIVE as corporate team representatives are challenged with recreating a decorative dessert. The event will include musical entertainment, culinary professionals and more.

Save the Date

Viva South Jersey will be held virtually on November 19, 2020. More details to be announced!