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1 in 5… What Is That?

By Laura Sodano Beausoleil

As Hunger Action Coordinator at the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, 1 in 5 is a statistic that I talk about often. But it’s not just a number. It’s the reality that 1 in 5 kids in the state is hungry. That’s almost 400,000 children who don’t always know where their next meal is coming from.

I have met many of you in my travels: at your schools, community organization meetings, places of worship, volunteer fairs… and it is a privilege for me to tell you about the FoodBank mission and what hunger is in New Jersey.

I know it surprises most of you to hear the numbers.

1 in 5 children hungry.

44.6 million – the number of pounds of food we distributed in the past year.

4.7 million – how many times a year someone in need is fed by CFBNJ’s network of partner charities.

I’m not a math whiz, or investor, or bank executive… but I know that these numbers are sobering and sad. The Community FoodBank employees, volunteers, and donors work hard every day to help this situation.

It brings me great satisfaction when I speak with a group of children who hear these numbers and “get it.” The surprised looks on their faces tell it all. Sometimes their own classmates are hungry and they don’t know it. Then they spring into action with great ideas on how to help: fundraisers like tag days, carnivals, hunger banquets, volleyball tournaments, EmptyBowls events… food drives… all with big hearts to help. Kids are great!

Are you a young person wanting to help, too? Or a parent looking to get your child to understand hunger in our state? A teacher wanting to have a hunger lesson and do a project? Please contact me at lsodano@cfbnj.org.

The numbers tell all…

Laura Sodano Beausoleil is CFBNJ’s Hunger Action Coordinator.