EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — While the holidays are a busy time for the Community FoodBank of New Jersey Southern Branch, the start of the new year is a particularly challenging period.
"FoodBank shelves are emptying rapidly, and we need to continue to stock them with items for our pantry clients and the hundreds of agencies we serve," food bank Vice President Richard Uniacke said. "Hunger does not take a holiday.”
The food bank provided 4,000 holiday meal boxes and distributed a record-high 10 million pounds of food in 2017 and projects it will distribute 13 million pounds in the coming year, Uniacke said in a press release.
The food bank works with more than 300 partner agencies in Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland counties to feed the hungry. Its Egg Harbor Township pantry went from serving 700 families a month in 2016 to more than 1,100 monthly in 2017.
The food bank also operates mobile food pantries in Galloway, Ventnor Heights, Rio Grande and other towns. Some 13.9 percent percent of Atlantic County residents are food insecure and 19.3 percent of Atlantic County children don’t know where to find their next meal, the second highest rate of any county in New Jersey, according to Uniacke.
Food bank development officer Renate Taylor said there are several ways people can help.
“We welcome businesses, groups and individuals to run food and fund drives. And, due to our purchasing power, we welcome cash gifts to help us buy food," she said.
For every dollar the food bank receives, it can provide eight times that in food to hungry families.
For information or help with designing a company or group-specific donation page where employees, staff, friends and family can contribute, email Taylor at email@example.com, call 609-383-8843, ext. 122, or see www.cfbnj.org.