The Food Bank of South Jersey (FBSJ) will honor longtime partner Jefferson Health (NJ) with the “Champion Against Hunger Award” at its annual Viva South Jersey Gala for the healthcare system’s steadfast commitment to fighting hunger in South Jersey.
“We truly appreciate Jefferson’s long-standing support of the Food Bank and are excited to present them with our highest honor,” said Lavinia Awosanya, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Food Bank of South Jersey. “Jefferson Health in New Jersey has made us their charity of choice and have made our mission their mission. We are thrilled to present Jefferson Health with the Champion Against Hunger Award and commend them for their commitment to the Food Bank of South Jersey and the communities we serve.”
Jefferson Health’s New Jersey hub has partnered with the FBSJ on various programs over the years – all of which have tremendously benefitted Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem counties. A collaboration with FBSJ’s Health & Wellness department gave more than 50 Jefferson patients in New Jersey the knowledge and tools needed to manage their diabetes and make healthier choices through classroom instruction and hands-on cooking classes. Other programs include: Therapeutic Food Boxes Program, which provide boxes filled with food supplies to Jefferson Home Health aides for distribution to patients; Hope Mobile Flu Shot Sites, which combines the distribution of food and flu shots in communities where resources are scarce; and food drives across campus locations.
Since 2012, when the organization was still Kennedy Health, food drives at its three New Jersey hospitals and various ambulatory locations collected over 12,000 pounds of food and donated more than $70,000 to the FBSJ. Over the past two years alone, 363 Jefferson Health volunteers have logged in 1,043 hours of service with the FBSJ. In 2019, Jefferson Health in New Jersey is launching a new community workshop initiative: Eat Healthy, Be Active, featuring four cohorts of six-session courses in which the Food Bank of South Jersey is a partner and will provide cooking classes.
“From the time we announced our formal community partnership with the Food Bank in 2016, our efforts have been met with nothing less than all-out enthusiasm by our associates and medical staff members,” said Joe Devine, President of Jefferson Health – New Jersey. “From donating food items to hands-on participation in preparing meals for the Food Bank’s summer program, our staff has been clearly devoted to this effort. This has proven a natural partnership, too, as the mission of the Food Band completely ties in with the Jefferson Health mission of ‘improving lives.’” Their efforts have a direct impact on the health and well-being of the people we serve, and we have been honored play a role in helping fight hunger and improve people’s lives through this partnership.”
The annual Viva South Jersey Gala takes place on Thursday, November 15, at 6:30 p.m. aboard the Spirit of Philadelphia. This year’s gala theme - “A Havana Nights Dinner Cruise” - will feature professional salsa dancers from the Rumberitos Dance Company, lively casino games, silent and live auctions, delicious cuisine, cocktails and much more. Bill Anderson, a reporter with WTXF-Fox 29 will once again serve as the event emcee. All event proceeds benefit families in South Jersey who don’t have regular access to healthy, affordable food.
This year’s Viva South Jersey Gala sponsors include Lourdes Health System, Subaru of America, Rick Cureton, The Barclay Group, Skippack Energy, Canada Dry, Lipman Produce, Bob’s Discount Furniture Charitable Foundation, CSAA Insurance Group, Philadelphia Insurance Companies, RKD Alpha Dog, Federal Rent A Fence, Horizon NJ Health, EJA Capacity Insurance and NJM Insurance Group. Tickets for the event can be purchased at www.foodbanksj.org. To become a sponsor or to support through advertisiting, call 856-662-4884 ext. 119 or visit www.foodbanksj.org.
About the Food Bank of South Jersey
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.
In 2017, FBSJ provided over 13 million pounds of food to approximately 200,000 South Jersey residents. Providing community impact through local support, FBSJ ensures that local donations stay local. FBSJ is a member of Feeding America, our nation’s largest hunger-relief organization. To learn more visit www.foodbanksj.org.