PENNSAUKEN, NJ – An extreme surge in direct food requests during the temporary federal government shutdown has prompted The Food Bank of South Jersey (FBSJ) to launch an Emergency Food Fund. In addition to helping FBSJ respond to unforeseen disasters, including incidents like the shutdown; the Fund will enable FBSJ to purchase additional food supplies and increase its distribution to impacted communities; and strengthen some of its existing hunger relief programs.
Annually, FBSJ provides 10-12 million pounds food to the estimated 200,000 food-insecure children, seniors and adults residing in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem counties.
“The partial government shutdown caused multiple cascading impacts on the Food Bank of South Jersey’s ability to serve its existing population, furloughed workers and the expected large increase in need from Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) in the second half in February,” said Fred Wasiak, President & CEO, Food Bank of South Jersey. “Even though the government is up and running again, we will likely face another two weeks of furloughed workers without pay and SNAP recipients needing additional support.”
During the shutdown, FBSJ answered a higher volume of direct requests, including a 4,500 pound donation to the U.S. Coast Guard and their families. FBSJ also expanded its Hope Mobile program - a mobile food distribution to provide food to those in need - to assist furloughed workers, TSA employees, and representatives of other agencies requesting resources.
To support the Food Bank of South Jersey’s Emergency Food Fund, visit www.foodbanksj.org or call FBSJ’s Fund development office at 856-662-4884.
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 2018, FBSJ provided over 10 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.