Persisting in the fight against hunger 

Community Foodbank of New Jersey

Library | 8/12/2020
CFBNJ


 
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The Community Food Bank of New Jersey (CFBNJ) has had a big impact on New Jersey families for 45 years. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the organization was suddenly faced with obstacles that made it difficult to support their communities. Yet, in the face of challenge, nothing stopped them from finding ways to help their neighbors in need.  

 
     

“We work to engage, educate and empower our communities in the battle against hunger,” says Carlos Rodriguez, President and CEO. “We collaborate with volunteers, donors and community partners to fill the emptiness caused by hunger but the pandemic has definitely made our mission more vital and more challenging.”

 
   

As a result of the pandemic, New Jersey’s unemployment rate increased from 3.4% to 15.2%, which has led to an increased demand for food. Right now, many of the individuals who need food are struggling with hunger for the first time in their lives. Feeding America projects a 56% increase—an additional 432,000 residents—in New Jersey’s food insecurity rate as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, a rate higher than the national average and neighboring states.

     
    
    

CFBNJ needs your help

With the increased demand came declines in food donations and other challenges related to the food supply chain. Food donations are down 47% compared to a year ago and food supply chains have become more competitive, so prices have increased 20%. CFBNJ has also seen a decrease in volunteers due to the strict regulations around social distancing and stay-at-home orders when typically, the organization sees 42,000 volunteer visits to their warehouse each year, including helpers from Valley Bank.

 

The silver lining in all of this is that it’s given us a new way to give patients care,” says Missey. “One of our diabetic patients was able to step away from his job and have a fifteen-minute call with a doctor rather than taking time off of work and risk taking a bus to get to us.”

   
 

   

In response to these challenges, the organization had to rethink their approach. “We’ve developed new ways to feed people in need,” says Carlos Rodriguez, President and CEO. “With the help of small groups of volunteers, we have packed more than 88,000 Emergency Meal Kits, which are currently distributed safely at large-scale, contactless outdoor locations.”

   

Valley is proud to be a CFBNJ partner and play a role in helping the organization serve their communities, and we’re especially focused on helping them during this challenging time. We’ve supported their Food Service Training Academy whose students and staff are helping to prepare thousands of meals being delivered to children and seniors throughout New Jersey. Valley has also made donations as part of our Community Pledge CD program in order to provide the organization with more funds to meet the increasing demands for food. There is no clear end for this issue, so CFBNJ continues to serve their community as best they can with the resources they have. Since the start of the pandemic, CFBNJ has distributed 25 million nutritious meals to their neighbors in need. Valley’s contribution will help the organization continue to deliver emergency relief in this unprecedented time as the need for it continues to grow.

   

“Because of partners like Valley, who support our programs, our general operations and give their time as volunteers, CFBNJ has been able to respond to a significant increase in hunger in our state,” says Carlos Rodriguez, President and CEO.

  
       

 

Find out more about CFBNJ

 

Visit https://cfbnj.org/ to learn more about Community Foodbank of New Jersey (CFBNJ), and be sure to follow them on Facebook.

  
 


    
  

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