In a mission to strengthen South Jersey’s access to nutritious, sustainable food during pervasive food insecurity, the Food Bank of South Jersey, through funding made possible by New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund, granted $452,124 to participating food pantries and feeding partners in its food distribution network of more than 210 participating agencies throughout Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem counties.
Pennsauken, New Jersey, May 21, 2021 – The Food Bank of South Jersey, the largest hunger-relief organization serving South Jersey and a member of the Feeding America network of national food banks, announced it has awarded $452,124 in funding, made possible by New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund, to agencies within its food distribution network throughout Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem counties.
This vital funding was distributed to 37 of the organization’s more than 210 participating food pantries and other feeding agencies serving South Jersey. The main purpose of the Food Bank of South Jersey funding is to increase the capacities of food distribution partner pantries and affiliated partner food agencies to serve more people impacted by the pervasive food insecurity inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“To help meet the extraordinary demand for food as many of our neighbors struggle with daily food vulnerability and accelerated household food insecurity, grant recipients within our food distribution network will be able to expand hours and days of service, as well as strengthen their facilities and bolster their capacities to supply food to their communities,” reports Food Bank of South Jersey President & CEO Fred C. Wasiak. “It is imperative that are food distribution agencies stay open and remain strong in distributing vital food in South Jersey’s most food-devastated communities – it is vital our partners have the support to sustain their hunger-relief efforts to feed South Jersey.”
Food partners and agencies within the Food Bank of South Jersey’s partner network were permitted to apply funding support from $5,000 to $15,000. Agencies requested a variety of capacity building allocations to increase the service of providing life-sustaining food to people in need. Some food distribution partner agencies also requested funding to support essential food purchases, as well as allocate funding toward maintenance projects, such as winterization, deemed essential for supporting growth and service plans.
More than $292,000 will be utilized by partner agencies for priority capacity building, with more than $109,900 earmarked for emergency food purchases to supplement and strengthen food resource reserves. Overall, of the 37 grant allocations awarded, 11 partner agencies serve Burlington County, 19 support Camden County, five agencies serve Gloucester County and two provide life-sustaining food resources to food-vulnerable residents of Salem County.
“The Food Bank of South Jersey has been vital for us, it is helping us to increase our ability to provide more food for more families,” reports Pastor Darlene Trappier of Beacon of Hope, Mount Holly. Pastor Trappier reports that, thanks to the grant funds received, Beacon of Hope is able to purchase additional food resources, some of which will target specific dietary restrictions, as well as obtain food transport devices to assist the Beacon of Hope staff and volunteers in moving thousands of pounds of food each week.
The pantry, which supports approximately 6,000 people through emergency food distributions, scheduled food distributions and emergency support in times of crisis, has remained open during the COVID-19 food-insecurity surge. “We were hit hard by COVID, we are still being hit hard, we’ve been running straight through and we are going to keep going,” Pastor Trappier shares. “This grant has enabled us and empowered us to obtain and manage more food to serve the families, seniors and individuals who need us most and, with this support, we keep going, we keep going, we keep going.”
The following Food Bank of South Jersey food distribution partner agencies will strengthen their capacities to serve with funding, in varying amounts, awarded by the organization’s grant funding. The grant was made possible by the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund and the David Tepper Charitable Foundation, with the Food Bank of South Jersey contributing $120,000 in funding support to strengthen regional response to hunger.
• Antioch Baptist, Camden City
• Beacon of Hope, Mount Holly
• Calvary Baptist, Beverly
• Cecil Deliverance Tabernacle, Williamstown
• Cherry Hill Food Pantry, Cherry Hill
• Christian Caring, Browns Mills
• City of Light, Atco
• Commissioned 2 Serve, Willingboro
• Cultivate, Voorhees
• Evangelistic Menonite Church, Camden City
• First Spanish Pentecostal, Pennsauken
• Fountain of Life, Camden
• Friends of Clementon, Clementon
• Glorious Light, Paulsboro
• Green Grove, West Berlin
• Hope UMC, Voorhees
• Ladies in Transit Holistic, Beverly
• Loving Our Cities, Sewell
• Need to Succeed, Lindenwold
• New Hope Ministry, Delran
• Oaks Integrated Care, Mount Holly
• Parkside United Methodist Church, Camden City
• Parkway Baptist Church, Willingboro
• People First! (Transitional Housing Services), Westampton
• Praise Temple, Jericho
• Safe Passage, Camden City
• Samost Jewish Family & Children’s Services, Cherry Hill
• St. John’s Pentecostal Outreach, Salem
• St. Joseph Pro-Cathedral, Camden City
• St. Thomas Episcopal Church (Kitchen of Hope), Glassboro
• SVDP Sacred Heart Church, Mount Holly
• The Extended Hand Ministry Inc., Mount Holly
• The Pantry at Victory Assembly of God, Pittsgrove
• The Victory Group, Westville
• Touch NJ, Camden City
• True Vine Pentecostal Church, Millville
• Urban Promise, Camden City
“The impact of the global pandemic brought with it food-insecurity milestones – raising food insecurity in South Jersey from 1 in 11 people to 1 in 7, with childhood food insecurity accelerating from 1 in 9 children to 1 in 5 and, for some our communities, 1 in every 4 children. The pandemic tested the limits of our capacity to serve, and drove us to deploy organizational and operational strategies to feed South Jersey in ways never before realized,” Wasiak reports. “More people needed more food – more than 61,000 people found themselves, for the first time, food insecure, elevating the food-insecure population of our four-county region to more than 170,000 people – our remarkable agency partners provided an exceptional blockade to hunger for tens of thousands of households.”
At the Cherry Hill Food Pantry in Cherry Hill, new industrial shelving and heavy-duty shopping carts, among other capacity bolstering purchases, will strengthen the pantry’s ability more efficiently distribute food during its Tuesday and Thursday scheduled distributions. “Our facility is not big, but it has height and, thanks to this grant, we will be able to make the most of our space with heavy shelving designed to hold thousands of pounds of food,” reports Janet Giordano of Cherry Hill Food Pantry. “It’s a blessing to get the food to give to the community, but it’s also a blessing to get the equipment and facility improvements needed to more effectively manage and distribute the food – we are now in a position to be stronger and more efficient than ever before.”
ABOUT THE FOOD BANK OF SOUTH JERSEY
Marking its 36th year in 2021, 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 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 its four-county region of impact: Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem counties, increasing its partner agency network to over 210 and serving over 95,000 food-insecure South Jersey residents each month.
During 2020, the Food Bank of South Jersey distributed over one million emergency food boxes in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic and elevated its child feeding program from approximately 300,000 children’s meals distributed during 2019 to over 950,000 children’s meals distributed to the region’s most food-vulnerable youths. FBSJ is a member of the Feeding America network of national food banks. Visit www.foodbanksj.org. On Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, follow the Food Bank of South Jersey @foodbankSJ.