PENNSAUKEN, NEW JERSEY – Thanks to $26,315.97 awarded to the Food Bank of South Jersey by the Subaru Loves to Help Grant, South Jersey’s largest hunger-relief organization bolstered and expanded its vital food items sorting room – enabling the organization to increase sorting capacity in its mission to feed South Jersey.
The Food Bank of South Jersey, a member of the Feeding America network of national food banks and the largest hunger-relief organization serving Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem counties, expanded the capacity of its essential sorting room at its Pennsauken headquarters thanks to Subaru’s generosity.
At the onset of the COVID-19 crisis impacting South Jersey, the Food Bank of South Jersey responded by rethinking, restructuring and greatly expanding many of its day-to-day food management, storage and distribution models to accommodate the surge in food insecurity.
With COVID-19 safety regulations limiting the way volunteers could assist in the sorting of vital donated food items, as well as power large-scale food packing projects, the organization reconfigured and remodeled its essential sorting room to comply with social distancing guidelines, including proper ventilation and air circulation, as well as an overall capacity expansion and an upgraded hygienic floor, to keep staff and a limited number of volunteers safe and productive.
“Thanks to Subaru, we were able to efficiently address the priority of expanding our sorting room, which was a vital operational capacity concern during the early days of responding to the food-insecurity spike due to the pandemic,” reports Fred C. Wasiak, President and CEO of the Food Bank of South Jersey. “The expansion of our sorting room greatly increases our capacity to fulfill our mission in feeding South Jersey’s most food-vulnerable communities.”
Since the pandemic hit in March of 2020, the Food Bank of South Jersey has distributed over 22.5 million pounds of food, the equivalent of over 18.7 million meals, to more than 95,000 people each month struggling with food insecurity throughout South Jersey.
Through the Subaru Love Promise, Subaru and its retailers across the country made a donation to provide 50 million meals to Feeding America. This action, called Subaru Loves to Help, makes meals available at local food banks across the country. In addition, Subaru retailers are working to see how else they can help these local food banks, including food drives, donations and volunteer events.
“Subaru is different from other auto companies and many other companies in general. It is a choice purposefully made. We have built the character of our brand around our commitment to our Love Promise,” states Tom Doll, President and Chief Executive Officer of Subaru. “Our Love Promise can be seen in the values and ideals we hold dear. We do this not just because it’s good for business, but because it’s the right thing to do.”
The Subaru of America Foundation was established in 1984 with the goal of supporting the communities where the organization lives and works. Today, Subaru is proud to report it has awarded over $9 million through grants, scholarships and matching employee gifts to various programs.
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.
During 2020, with COVID-19 bringing school closures, stay-at-home orders, record-breaking unemployment and rising poverty, FBSJ distributed more than 22.5 million pounds of food – the equivalent of over 18.7 million meals – throughout four-county region of impact, increasing its partner agency network to over 210 and serving over 95,000 food-insecure South Jersey residents each month, including the distribution of nearly one million nutritious breakfasts and lunches to more than 30,000 food-insecure South Jersey children. To learn more, visit www.foodbanksj.org. On Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, follow the Food Bank of South Jersey @foodbankSJ.