The Food Bank of South Jersey Applauds
USDA Modernizing the Thrifty Food Plan and Updating SNAP Benefits
Statement by Fred C. Wasiak, President and CEO of the Food Bank of South Jersey
We praise the long-needed change announced this week by the USDA to modernize SNAP benefits. This adjustment will bring SNAP levels closer to what is needed to match the costs and nutritional benefits to properly feed a family in 2021. Thousands of residents in South Jersey in the program will be able to better afford and access the healthy food they need to thrive.
For more than a year we have seen record food distributions to meet the ongoing needs of South Jersey residents who are dealing with food insecurity due to the pandemic. We also know that the need has not subsided as families continue to struggle with job loss and debt, and are faced with difficult budget choices. Access to nutritious food should not be one of them. This move by the USDA recognizes that current program levels set in 1975 needed to be updated.
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.