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July 09, 2020

New Jersey food banks to receive $20 million through CARES Act

Funding to be distributed to the state’s six emergency feeding organizations

Food Accessibility COVID-19
New Jersey food banks Street View/Google

The Food Bank of South Jersey in Pennsauken, Camden County will receive funding via the CARES Act to help residents amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Three South Jersey food banks that have been supporting families during the COVID-19 crisis are set to receive a boost in funding. 

New Jersey is distributing $20 million it received through the federal CARES Act to its six emergency feeding organizations, Gov. Phil Murphy said Thursday. About half of the money will be dispersed by August. The rest will be doled out by December. 

The organizations will receive allocations based on a formula that measures the number of individuals and families they assist. 

The three South Jersey organizations that will benefit are the Southern Regional Food Distribution Center in Vineland, Cumberland County, the Food Bank of South Jersey in Pennsauken, Camden County and the Community Food Bank of New Jersey in Egg Harbor Township, Atlantic County.

"The FBSJ is grateful for the support and acknowledgement recognizing the importance of our mission, along with our NJ food bank companions in serving so many individuals, families, children and seniors during this unprecedented time of need," said Fred Wasiak, who serves as the president and CEO of the Food Bank of South Jersey. 

The additional funding will help the food banks continue fighting food insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic, Murphy said.

"Food banks are a critical lifeline for New Jersey families, and now more than ever, they provide nutrition assistance to families and their children who have been struggling to access food during this pandemic," Murphy said. "This new federal funding will enable food banks to continue providing for those across our communities who most rely on their services."

New Jersey also has received roughly $390 million in additional federal funding for food assistance during the pandemic. 

The state will distribute $208 million in food assistance benefits to more than 500,000 school children who would have received free or reduced-price meals during the school year. Another $180 million is being allocated to assist people who received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. 

New Jersey also has been given federal approval to make it easier for residents to obtain SNAP benefits.

Carlos Rodriguez, the president and CEO of the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, praised the efforts of government officials in fighting food insecurity amid the pandemic. 

"With so many in our state facing hunger for the first time in their lives during this crisis, this critical funding through the CARES Act will enable New Jersey's food banks and our local networks to serve more neighbors in need than ever before," Rodriguez said. 

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