Statement From Fred Wasiak, President & CEO of the Food Bank of South Jersey, on USDA’s Household Food Security in the United States (2022)
The October 25, 2023 release of the annual USDA’s Household Food Security in the United States in 2022 report showed an alarming increase in national food insecurity. The new figures report that 10 million more people are food insecure, reaching 44 million across the country. The report also showed that the number of food-insecure children has skyrocketed to 13 million, an increase of 4 million.
Regrettably, these figures align with what we’ve seen over the last year here in South Jersey. For the first six months of this year, we served more than 150,000 neighbors every month – a 54-percent increase over 2022. Additionally, about 60 percent of our partner agencies recently reported an increase or significant increase in the number of families they are serving.
This escalation points to the unacceptable reality of food insecurity. Higher food prices, inflation, and the elimination of pandemic relief benefits have created impossible circumstances for our neighbors.
If we are going to change hunger in South Jersey, ensuring that our communities can thrive must become a top-priority issue for everyone. We will continue to work with our elected officials, corporate allies, community partners, and neighbors toward ensuring a stronger, more food-secure South Jersey.