Never Normal for Anyone to Go Hungry
Throughout my travels in South Jersey, I’m hearing the same question these days, “Are things back to normal at the Food Bank of South Jersey?”
The question often comes from people who know that during the height of the pandemic, the Food Bank served its South Jersey neighbors at record levels. We added distributions, increased the capacity of our refrigerators, and did everything we could to meet the need.
Normal? Now? We have moved on from pandemic lockdowns and public events and restaurants are open again. But for us at the Food Bank of South Jersey, it’s hard to label these days as “normal.”
Starting in March of this year, we are again serving our neighbors at pandemic levels. 92,000 in March. 96,000 in April. 94,000 in May. Record inflation and skyrocketing fuel costs have put an incredible strain on families throughout South Jersey. That’s not normal.
We see the impact on the food bank in this economy through higher freight costs for items shipped to us, increased gas prices to fill up our trucks for deliveries, and supply chain issues disrupting the food we can obtain and distribute. That’s not normal.
But we also don’t want to normalize any level of hunger. Thousands of people have the difficult and often impossible choice of food or medicine, food or utilities, or food or gas.
The only thing normal today is that we will be here for South Jersey. Just like we have for the last 37 years – to work tirelessly and to the best of our ability and to make sure no one goes to bed hungry.
Fred C. Wasiak
President & CEO