The Community FoodBank of New Jersey, an anti-hunger, anti-poverty nonprofit, announced on April 22 that it received a grant from Bank of America to help meet the growing need for food assistance in direct response to the coronavirus.
The $1.6 million contribution from Bank of America will help CFBNJ create and distribute emergency meal kits. To date, the organization has provided 20,000 kits, each containing enough nonperishable food for 40 meals. The funds will also help increase distribution of nutritious food to CFBNJ’s network of partner agencies across its 16-county service area. Also, CFBNJ has delivered thousands of low-sodium prepared meals per week directly to homebound seniors, distributed 9,000 Family Packs to families of kids without access to school breakfasts and lunches, and continued Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program outreach efforts to connect neighbors in need with long-term food assistance.
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Bank of America’s generosity, combined with gifts from other organizations and individuals, is needed now more than ever. Feeding America projects a shortfall of $1.4 billion, $20 million in New Jersey alone, in additional food resources needed to meet the growing demand for food assistance nationwide through the summer.
“With the shuttering of businesses across the state due to the coronavirus, countless people are facing the realities of reduced work hours, layoffs, and missed paychecks. The need for CFBNJ’s services is growing day by day,” said Carlos Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. “We are so grateful for Bank of America’s decades-long leadership investment in our mission and for this most recent contribution, which will allow us to serve as a lifeline for so many New Jersey residents, some of whom are finding themselves in need for the first time in their lives.”
CFBNJ also intends to leverage a portion of these funds, in partnership with Bank of America, as a matching gift opportunity now and throughout the summer, when the need for hunger relief will likely continue to increase.
Before the coronavirus, more than 660,000 neighbors in need resided in CFBNJ’s service area. Now, the increase in demand for food is about 50 percent in communities that were hit the hardest. In response, CFBNJ supplied food to support 4.8 million nutritious meals in March alone, about 786,000 more meals than usual. To address mounting operational challenges and adapt to changing health concerns, CFBNJ shifted to a three-shift 24-hour operation, working around the clock six days a week to provide for New Jerseyans in need.
To make a donation or for information, visit cfbnj.org or @communityfoodbankofnj on Facebook.
For anyone who needs food assistance, visit cfbnj.org/findfood.
For help applying for or recertifying for SNAP, call (800) 609-3663.
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