STRENGTHENING COMMUNITIES TOGETHER
I recently had the pleasure of representing the Food Bank of South Jersey at the annual Feeding America conference, an event that brings together food banks from across the country to learn and share best practices. I participated in a panel discussion highlighting the conference’s main theme – Strengthening Communities.
Specifically, I spoke about an exciting project that we are engaged in – the Camden Food Security Collective. The Collective, which was created to foster food security in Camden through structural equity, is a unique impact project bringing together 28 community organizations and seven residents. Our goal is to co-locate community resources, increase residents’ financial security, and transform the local food economy by 2031.
None of this can get done if we aren’t elevating the voices of everyone in the community – from our partner agencies to local community organizations to the neighbors we serve. We can’t do all this ourselves. And we cannot do it without listening.
Which is why we’ve engaged the neighbors we serve in regular listening sessions throughout South Jersey, in order to learn more about the issues that hold them back from thriving and how we can serve them more effectively.
Strengthening the communities we serve is an important element to reducing food insecurity and building long-term sustainability. By embracing a community-led vision, based on mutual respect and our desire to always learn and be better, we will build a more food-secure South Jersey… together.
Fred C. Wasiak
President & CEO
Food Bank of South Jersey