Flowing Food: Working to Stock Shelves, Pantry Partners Help Bring Hope Home
Every day, a network of over 200 agency partners works tirelessly as the food distribution conduit between the Food Bank of South Jersey and tens of thousands of food-insecure households throughout Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem counties.
Who are these agency partners?
With a commitment to serve their communities, these agency partners devote countless hours of service to moving food inventory, stocking shelves with essential resources in order to flow those resources to their communities most food-vulnerable residents.
The people fueling South Jersey’s flow of food are grandparents, parents and students, pastors, ministers and church congregants. They include retirees from all walks of life. They include people of all ages – a diverse and steadfast community of people with the shared hope that one day South Jersey will be free of hunger. They are, quite simply, unsung heroes in the fight to keep shelves stocked and food flowing.
The Food Bank of South Jersey would not be able to fight hunger, to shorten food distribution lines, to build a stronger and more sustainable South Jersey without these regional heroes.
From Beacon of Hope, serving more than 6,000 people in the Mount Holly region under the care of Pastor Darlene Trappier, to Janet Giordano and her team distributing thousands of pounds of food twice each week at the Cherry Hill Food Pantry to Evangelistic Mennonite Church of the City of Camden and its food distributions through the care of pantry leaders Iris and Angelo Zayas, the pantries – large and small – that power the flow of food throughout South Jersey provide a lifeline of essential service.
With community food donations currently more than 40 percent below pre-pandemic levels, with the potential to be as high as 70 percent down for 2021, as was the case in 2020, the work of our network of pantry partners dedicated to feeding South Jersey is harder than ever – as keeping shelves stocked with vital food resources to sustain wellness, health and hope is daily undertaking.
As the need to feed South Jersey remains accelerated, with food insecurity throughout the region remaining at 1 in every 7 residents – and 1 in every 5 children – we are proud to provide food to our remarkable pantry partners and, in that spirit, we are proud to shine a light on those who keep the flow of food strong for South Jersey.
It is through the service of these pantry leaders that shelves remain stocked in kitchens in homes from Willingboro to Salem, Glassboro to Lindenwold, Mount Holly to Cherry Hill and beyond – enabling children to wake to a delicious breakfast, seniors to enjoy a nutritious lunch and families to look forward to dinnertime. It is by their service the Food Bank of South Jersey is able to continue to meet the amplified need for food – and stand strong as the region’s largest hunger-relief organization.