During 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic altered so much of our everyday lives – how we interact, how we travel, how we learn, how we work. For many members of our community, the impact has been severe. Unemployment. Homelessness. Financial crisis. Health emergencies. An alarming rise in food insecurity – with tens of thousands facing life-altering hunger for the first time.
Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, we remained in operation continuously, expanding and strengthening our 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, we responded to a 200 percent increase in food insecurity throughout our four-county region.
Our ability to feed our 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. As our work continues to feed the lines of people waiting for food this year, we remain committed to feed the line, sustain the line and shorten the line in our mission to bring forward a New Jersey that is food secure for all.
COVID-19 presented a complex crisis of increased demand, declines in donations of food, and disruptions to the charitable food assistance system’s operating model. Generous support has enabled us to be proactive in meeting the economic challenges resulting from the health crisis.
Approximately 40 percent of the individuals who came to our food distributions were first-time recipients of charitable food assistance, driven to the Food Bank by the crushing economic consequence of COVID-19.
Delivered to more than 58 communities.
delivered to more than 58 communities.
In light of the anticipated continued spread of COVID-19, as reported by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and leading health organizations and healthcare providers, the Food Bank of South Jersey has launched a Coronavirus Preparedness Plan, which encompasses implementing additional food safety measures, including multiple additional sanitization steps in all food collections and distributions.
What is COVID-19? The CDC is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in almost 90 locations internationally, including in the United States. On January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern.
How is COVID-19 contracted? According to the CDC, the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another, within about 6 feet.. Additionally, through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
What is the current COVID-19 risk assessment? According to the CDC, for most people, the immediate risk of being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be low. This virus is not currently widespread in the United States, though updates are occurring daily. People in places where ongoing community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated risk of exposure, with increase in risk dependent on the location. Healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19 are at elevated risk of exposure. Close contacts of persons with COVID-19 also are at elevated risk of exposure. Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring also are at elevated risk of exposure, with increase in risk dependent on the location.
1. FBSJ has launched a Coronavirus Preparedness Plan, which encompasses implementing additional food safety measures, including multiple additional sanitization steps in all food collections and distributions.
2. FBSJ’s internal Coronavirus Task Force is monitoring the developing Coronavirus situation is working directly with Feeding America and Department of Health officials, as well as monitoring recommendations by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
3. At this time, FBSJ is maintaining FULL OPERATION and regular food distribution programs, services and activities.
4. We are committed to continuing our vital service to the community and will exercise every effective safety measure to ensure we proceed in our daily mission to provide nutrition to our food-insecure neighbors.
5. We are actively implementing additional, rigorous sanitization protocols, adhering to best practices for prevention as advised by the CDC, to ensure the highest quality safety standards and preventative measures are met in sanitizing and safeguarding our facility and personnel to protect our South Jersey community during this potential threat.
6. We strongly advise all Partners, Agencies, Volunteers, Staff and related associates adhere to the highest degree of safety and prevention best practices at all food distribution locations, including Hope Mobiles, School Pantries, Pop-Up Pantries and related food distribution and food management exchanges – please consult best practices for preventative measures as advised by the CDC.
PENNSAUKEN, N.J. (CBS) — There are new closures and new challenges in New Jersey. Making sure those who need food is taking on increased urgency amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Food Bank of South Jersey leaders say they have enough food and anyone who is in need can receive food.
Click here to read more.
NJ Department of Health Coronavirus Call Center, 24 hour Hotline: 800-222-1222
Burlington County Health Department: 609-265-5548
Camden County Department of Health and Human Services: 800-999-9045
Gloucester County Department of Health and
Human Services: 856-218-4101
Salem County Health Department: 856-935-7510